Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando


With that support, Suzie was able to focus and provide effective testimony...

One of the Children’s Advocacy Center’s (CAC) child sexual abuse victims, “Suzie”, had to fly out of state to testify at the trial of her perpetrator. Suzie had a long history of distrust and shutting down when talking about the abuse. When Suzie found out she had to go out of state to testify, she was frightened and did not want to go. Suzie’s mother contacted the CAC’s Program Manager, Janine Hammett, and asked what could be done to ease her daughter’s worry and anxiety. Ms. Hammett decided to contact the Children’s Advocacy Center in that state to inquire about having one of their child advocates attend the trial with Suzie and her family. That CAC’s advocate agreed and was able to talk to Suzie several times prior to flying and then accompanied her to court for five days while she testified. With that support, Suzie was able to focus and provide effective testimony that ultimately resulted in the perpetrator’s conviction and prison sentence of 25 years to life.


“My experience with the Children’s Advocacy Center has far exceeded my expectations."

“My experience with the Children’s Advocacy Center has far exceeded my expectations. My children were scared and hesitant when we were first referred to the program, but the CAC has now become a place of security for them. Even though the family situation my children have been through is not completely solved, they both have learned coping skills and a better understanding of things. I have come away many times with a sense of peace that I am doing the right thing for my children. I feel truly blessed to have made the decision to ask the Children’s Advocacy Center to help them.”



The CAC was there for her...

Alicia, a student at USF, thought her life was falling apart when she discovered her husband had been molesting their 8-year old daughter, but the CAC was there for her, providing counseling, case management and support from the criminal justice system - even advocating on their behalf so that she could financially stand on her own two feet.  She participated in Lauren's Walk to help raise awareness for the victims of sexual abuse.  As a result of their experience at the CAC, Alicia has decided to change her major at USF to Social Work so that she can help others in their time of need.


She had been making bad decisions...

S. is a 17 year old girl who came to therapy experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and impulsive behavior. She had been making bad decisions, (i.e., sneaking out of the house, inappropriate social media behavior) and was feeling more and more detached from her family. S. had been adopted at the age of 10, following years of substance misuse, transience, and exposure to sexually inappropriate behavior by her biological mother. She was removed and placed in foster care with a non relative, a surrogate grandmother, then had to be removed from her care. During these traumas, S. herself was victimized once at the age of 5, and again twice more in the next two years. When S. came to services, she was reluctant, stating that she was scared of facing things, and experienced depression, nightmares, fear, and suicidal thoughts. S. was able to build a strong rapport with her therapist, and to begin to talk about her experiences in a safe, non-judgmental, relaxed way. In time she began sleeping better, coping better, and making better choices. S. participated in a therapy known as TIR, Traumatic Incident Reduction, with her therapist, which lead to a change in her perspective and outlook that made it easier for her to be successful. S. graduated from high school in 2016 and is now enrolled in college.

Victims letter to Therapist 

"You have been such an amazing light in my life. Talking to you and seeing things from a different perspective has really changed the way I look at things and go about my daily life in a good way. Never would I have imagined that the deepest things that bothered me the most would one day never bother me again and that would not be possible if it was not for you. It is crazy to think how the first session I wanted nothing to do with another round of counseling and now here I am not wanting to leave. You have left such an impact on my  life that will do nothing but benefit me from here on out. I can not thank you enough and if I could, I would. Thank you again for helping me become a better person." - S.