Child Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka
The Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe/Muskoka’s (CYACSM’s) multidisciplinary, child-friendly approach is improving the community’s response to child abuse and neglect; minimizing trauma to children, youth and their families; and promoting and delivering excellence in child abuse response, investigation and prevention through service, education and leadership.
According to Statistics Canada, children under the age of 18 accounted for over half (55%) of all victims of sexual offences reported to police in 2012. In 2017, Statistics Canada reported a 30% increase in sexual violations against children from 2015 to 2016 and a 41% increase in child pornography incidents from 2015, a 233% increase since 2006.
In 2014, through a grass-roots community effort, the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre Simcoe/ Muskoka opened its first Centre in Orillia, ON. Guided by a volunteer Board of Directors and with seed funding from the Department of Justice Canada, the CYACSM opened its doors to support children and youth who have experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or sexual exploitation. In September 2017, due to a growing need in Barrie and surrounding areas, the CYACSM opened a second Centre. Since opening, the CYACSM has facilitated over 1,000 forensic interviews relative to child abuse, with more than 400 interviews occurring in the new Barrie Centre over the past year.
When a child or youth has experienced abuse, the disclosure process can be frightening, confusing and overwhelming. The CYACSM's mission is to ensure the most child and youth friendly response to a report or disclosure of child abuse. The CYACSM is a safe and neutral place for children and youth to tell their story. Since 2014, we have delivered a multidisciplinary approach to care for children and youth who have been abused and supported their families, through partnerships with the police, child protection agencies, social workers and health care professionals. Furthermore, we employ specially trained, onsite advocates who provide ongoing support services to children, youth and families.
The CYACSM also offers services specific to young victims of sex trafficking, a growing crime within our region. Additionally, the CYACSM offers Abuse Prevention education to families, schools and service organizations within our community.
Thank you for your support.