Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center Receives Community Leadership Award

September 22, 2015 - [Austin, TX] – In an evening ceremony last night, the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. (CACTX) was recognized for its efforts on behalf of child victims of physical and sexual abuse across Texas. Recognized by First Lady Cecilia Abbott, Honorary Chair of the 32nd Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards, and the OneStar Foundation, CACTX joins a select group of individuals, groups and organizations honored for a significant and measurable contribution to their communities.

“The power of the public-private partnerships our membership has established at 69 different Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) across the state cannot be overstated. Through these intricate collaborations, our network is able to provide much needed assistance to nearly 40,000 Texas children every year who have been subjected to heartbreaking abuse,” said Joy Hughes Rauls, Executive Director of CACTX. “We are grateful to our partners across the state, law enforcement, CPS, prosecution, medical and mental health providers and volunteers, who have joined this collective vision of justice and healing for the smallest of victims.”

“In Shelby County the Children’s Advocacy Center provides crucial services to over 100 children a year. Without the support of our local partnerships, the positive impact we are making on our community would not be possible,” said Denise Merriman, Executive Director of the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center. “Our agency partners include: Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, County Attorney, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Center Police Department, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Timpson Police Department, Timpson ISD Police Department, Constable Pct.5, Shelby County Juvenile Probation Department, Center ISD Police Department, Shelbyville ISD Police Department, Constable Pct. 4, and Tenaha City Marshal’s Office. We are proud to accept this award alongside CACTX.”

Children’s Advocacy Centers are a nationally renowned solution to the challenges facing the child victims of sexual and physical abuse. At their core, the centers provide a place for representatives of law enforcement, legal, medical and Child Protective Service organizations to coordinate the pursuit of justice for perpetrators and therapeutic healing for victims and their families. Forging partnerships with community volunteers, child welfare advocates and Government Agencies, local centers also provide the much needed support these families need while seeking justice.

“Texas is so fortunate to have a First Lady like Cecilia Abbott and an organization like the OneStar Foundation who understand the value of partnerships within communities,” concluded Rauls. “We dream that, someday, child abuse will be eradicated, but until then, we’ll keep working together in the service of a tragic, but vital cause. I’m proud to accept this award on their behalf.”