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County agrees to house child advocacy center
Wilson County NewsJuly 10, 2013 | 1,322 views | 3 comments
Child victims of sexual assault who reside in Wilson County no longer will have to travel to far-off places to obtain help. The Wilson County Commissioners Court voted unanimously at its July 8 meeting to lease a county-owned building to the Children’s Alliance of South Texas.For the next 30 years, at a cost of $1 per year, the center will lease the former Mary C. Forister Center building, which is located on the campus of the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III in Floresville.
Wilson County Attorney Daynah Fallwell said the center will be responsible for maintaining and renovating the building, but the organization is asking the county to repair a pre-existing roof leak. Assistant District Attorney Audrey Louis of the 81st Judicial District said renovations will include the creation of two sound-proof interview rooms and four offices. Louis is hopeful that the center will be open Sept. 1. It will be staffed by an executive director, interviewer, and an administrative assistant, all of whom have yet to be hired.
For almost a year, Louis and Children’s Alliance of South Texas board members have been working to establish the center, which will provide services to the 81st and 218th judicial districts. These include Atascosa, Frio, Karnes, La Salle, and Wilson counties, where law-enforcement personnel and victims have been forced to travel to centers in Hondo, Seguin, San Antonio, and Victoria, because the five-county area lacks such services.
Child advocacy centers afford child victims of molestation with a caring, non-threatening setting to report abuse without fear of shame or reprisal. While working to aid in the prosecution of pedophiles, the centers also provide victims with counseling and other support services to help them recover.
More than $100,000 has been raised to help the center open. Part of the funding for operations and outreach will be raised through a $100 court fee that the Wilson County District Court will assess from sex offenders.
For more about the Wilson County Commissioners Court’s July 8 meeting, see related article, page 1A.
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July 15, 2013 12:50pm
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