BK center on front lines of child abuse

More than 2,000 victims of child abuse come through the doors of the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center every year.

The center, run by Safe Horizons, was the first in the country to have every service and partner agency under one roof, from an on-site medical office to an Administration for Children's Services bureau and its own police squad.

?When you have all of these different partner agencies together in one place, we don't have to have the child re-tell their stories over and over,? says Safe Horizons Vice President Nancy Arnow.

The treatment process begins in an interview room where victims tell their stories.

?Our hope is that the truth comes out and then after the interview we can figure out the best plan of action for child victims and members of a family,? says Arnow.

On the other side of the center, police work to get confessions from alleged abusers. Police estimate their unit at the Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center makes up to 400 arrests a year.

Experts say someone who has been abused is more likely to abuse in the future, but that doesn?t have to be the case. Help is out there to break the vicious cycle. Abuse survivor Sabrina Carmichael says parenting didn?t come easily to her.

?I went to counseling, I've been to parenting classes, I took those [measures] so my kids would not be victims of my past,? says Carmichael.

Maggie Joseph is part of the Nurse Family Partnership, a program now serving 1,800 low-income first-time moms across New York City. The program boasts a 48 percent reduction in child abuse and neglect and 72 percent fewer convictions among mothers.

?My job is to create the climate of possibility, you can be a good mother, no you don't have to continue that cycle,? says Joseph.

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