The Children’s Safety Center
The girl got an angry look on her face. She clenched her fists and slammed them on the table. “He will NOT take my smile.” And that was the first step in her fight to recover from the most heinous of sexual assaults.
There is a wall in the Children’s Safety Center. It’s covered with the handprints of children who have come here, children who have been victims of various forms of child abuse, from physical to emotional to sexual. To understand this wall is to understand the Children’s Safety Center.
While many of the not-for-profit organizations supported in part by Bikes Blues and BBQ serve to provide aid for those in need of a helping hand to better their lives and those of their children, sadly some of those organizations are in the business of helping to heal the hurt and “right the wrong”. One such group is the Children’s Safety Center, located in Springdale and serving Washington County since 1997.
In 2015, 546 children received advocacy services via CSC. Among other services, these included (1.) forensic interviews in a safe, non-traumatizing environment conducted by trained professionals whose only concern is the child’s well-being and (2.) medical services including physical abuse exams, sexual abuse exams, sexually transmitted infection testing, pregnancy testing and case consultations. The reporting process is a difficult one for children and CSC truly provides an atmosphere, in which kids can tell their stories through non-leading, comforting interviews.
In addition, 131 children received 1,180 therapeutic counseling sessions. The ultimate goal of CSC is to help child abuse victims and their non-offending family members to heal from the trauma of the situation. Through highly individualized and specialized therapeutic counseling, the CSC clinical staff strives to restore emotional functioning which will hopefully lead to a positive and productive adulthood.
The girl at the beginning of this article had been sexually assaulted by one of her brother’s friends. She was so frightened. To report the assault was to risk being ostracized at school, being somehow blamed for the assault, and being forever “that girl who got raped”. But during her interview at the Center, she got really mad as well. “He will NOT take my smile”. And he didn’t. She still has it.
I’ve noticed that we of the motorcycling community seem to have a special place in our hearts for children and their safety. Witness, among others, the efforts of B.A.C.A. (for those of you who may not know, that’s Bikers Against Child Abuse) and Riders United for Children among many others. Maybe it’s because we are all kids at heart, but whatever the reason, we tend to come to the aid of children in difficult straits whenever possible. That’s why Bikes Blues and BBQ specifically targets charities that serve families and children for our donations. And it’s why, with your help, we always will.
Since 2000, Bikes, Blues & BBQ has generated over $1,300,000 for local non-profits.
Information about BBB Supported Charities.
In 2015, these were the non-profits that received direct donations from the rally:
Area Agency on Aging, Arkansas Support Network, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of NWA, Camp Alliance, Childcare Aware, Children’s Safety Center, Community Creative Center, Cooperative Emergency Outreach, Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club, Fayetteville Public Education Foundation, Fayetteville Youth Wrestling, Feed Communities, Habitat for Humanity, Havenwood, Jackson Graves Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Life Styles Inc., M and N Augustine Foundation, NWA Free Health Center, Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis Center, Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, Open Avenues, Ozark Literacy Council, Pagnozzi Charities, Peace at Home Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Restoration Village, Sheriff Ralph Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund, Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, Teen Action and Support Center, Washington County 4-H Foundation, Winslow Community Meals, Youth Bridge, Yvonne Richardson Center