Advocacy Centers in Indian Country
Services to assist child abuse victims in Indian Country are scarce. Challenges include the remoteness of Indian Country in relation to existing services and cultural issues surrounding services that are not designed for American Indian children. Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) are increasingly being established in urban areas to help victims recover from abuse and participate in the criminal justice process. Through a grant, OVC funded the National Children's Alliance to establish three new CACs on American Indian reservations. The three participating tribes are the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Funding will be used for program development, training and technical assistance, and cross mentoring. The CACs will work with their communities to develop multidisciplinary teams who will work to improve communication among tribal, local, and federal agencies in a way that minimizes trauma to child victims and improves evidence collection for the prosecution of child abuse.