Brandon is a 7 year old boy attending a local elementary school. Brandon told his teacher that his mother's boyfriend played special games with him that involved Brandon being forced to touch the adult's private area. Brandon's teacher called the Department of Children's Services (DCS) and reported the alleged abuse. The DCS case manager contacted Brandon's mother and requested that she bring Brandon to the Nashville Children's Alliance (NCA) for an interview. When Brandon and his mother arrived at the NCA, they were greeted by the DCS case manager and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective assigned to the case.
Brandon was interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer on staff at the NCA. The forensic interviewer is trained to conduct age appropriate, non-leading and legally defensible interviews. The interview was audio and videotaped, so that Brandon will not have to be interviewed numerous times. The DCS case manager and the MPD detective observed the interview on closed circuit television making it a team approach to gathering information. The DCS case manager and Metro detective talked with Brandon's mother after the interview about a plan to keep Brandon safe from the alleged perpetrator.
Because Brandon was interviewed at the NCA and his interview was audio and videotaped, he did not have to be separately interviewed by DCS and MPD. He was interviewed in a safe and comfortable environment rather than at his school where there is little privacy and where children fear their friends will overhear the interview. Brandon's safety and well being were foremost on the minds of the team members gathered at the NCA for the forensic interview.
Zinnia is a 16-year-old African American female who was sexually and mentally abused by her stepfather over a 3-year period. Upon entering treatment, she had notable symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including fear, anger, withdrawal from activities with family and friends, and dissociate and depressive symptoms.
Zinnia's mother was very concerned about her symptoms, and brought her for counseling at the Nashville Children's Alliance (NCA). Initially, Zinnia was resistant to the idea of therapy. Her therapist, using a combination of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Humanistic Theory, was able to build rapport with Zinnia and guide her on her unique path to healing.
While Zinnia was in her individual sessions, her mother attended the Non-Offending Parent Support Group, which is offered on Tuesday evenings at NCA. The group helped Zinnia's mother learn how to better parent her victimized child as well as helped her process her own grief and losses as a result of the trauma.
After several sessions, Zinnia was able to better communicate her feelings and experiences with her counselor, mother, and friends. Both she and her mother reported a lifting of the Post –Traumatic Stress symptoms. Zinnia is now on the honor roll at school, is active in sports and social activities in church and at school, and feels that the sexual abuse is an event that is now in the past.
Healing the Family
A five year old was referred for sexual abuse counseling. She was exhibiting depression and anxiety symptoms and could not verbalize her feelings. Upon completing therapy at the Nashville Children's Alliance (NCA), this child was able to express that she feels sad that her father is not in her life at the present time, but her hope is that he gets the help he needs. Since treatment began, she has become more social and communicative and is generally happy. Her mother reported complete satisfaction with the services provided at NCA, especially the Non-Offending Parents Support Group, and has become an advocate herself.
© 2012 Nashville Children's Alliance :: Website Design by Visionary Design Group