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A donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will enhance on-site medical services at eight Children’s Justice Center locations in Utah. Women leaders of the Church’s Relief Society, Young Women and Primary organizations toured the South Valley Children’s Justice Center in West Jordan, Utah, Thursday, April 20, 2017, and delivered a check for $120,000 for needed medical supplies for child abuse victims.
Sister Joy D. Jones, general president of the Primary organization for all boys and girls under age 12 in the Church, presented the donation on behalf of the Church to Tracey Tabet, administrator of the Utah Children’s Justice Center program, and Susanne Mitchell, director of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Centers.
“I feel tremendous appreciation for the tireless and heroic efforts that all the children’s justice centers are putting forth in helping and supporting children and teens that have been affected by abuse,” said Sister Jones. “We are so grateful for what you are doing to bless the lives of others.”
“This is a very remarkable gift,” added Mitchell. “This will be put to use immediately to solve things that have been waiting for attention in children who deserve to have the best possible care,” she said.
“We have essentially doubled the exams that we are providing around the state, and we’ve had to respond to that demand with adding [medical] providers,” explained Tabet, who said the funding will help purchase needed equipment to help the kids.
In addition to Sister Jones, Church representatives on the site visit included Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, general president, Young Women; Sister Carol F. McConkie, first counselor, Young Women general presidency; and Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor, Relief Society general presidency.
The South Valley Children’s Justice Center, located at 8282 South 2200 West in West Jordan, was established in 1997. All services are provided at no charge to child and teen victims, witnesses or family members.
The Children’s Justice Center is a place where families who have experienced abuse can access resources such as counseling, information about legal services, law enforcement support and information to help them overcome abuse. The center also offers medical exams, providing important information to law enforcement and child and family services workers.
Utah opened its first Children’s Justice Center in 1991 in Salt Lake County. The Utah Legislature granted administrative authority of the center to the Utah Attorney General’s Office in 1994. There are currently more than 20 locations statewide that assist 5,500 child victims every year. The Utah Children’s Justice Center program is affiliated with the National Children’s Alliance in Washington, D.C.
The program assists with investigations involving sexual abuse, physical abuse, child homicide, domestic violence related child abuse, abductions and shaken baby syndrome.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States. This is the third consecutive year the Church has given to child abuse and prevention organizations.