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Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern AZ to build capacity across five counties with newly award grant

Posted at 12:57 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 20:13:32-05

TUSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Several southern Arizona organizations are getting a share of funding from the Violence Against Women Act. The act was extended in Arizona by Governor Doug Ducey last year.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona is one of those organizations. It provides safety and healing services for minor victims or witnesses of violent crimes, as well as helping with evidence collection.

“But our focus is always on that survivor that we want to make sure that they're able to heal. And that they move forward and progress through their healing process as quickly as possible. So we're always trying to reduce trauma,” said Marie Fordney, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona’s executive director.

The center was awarded $60,000 each year of the grant. Fordney says the center, located off I-10, makes it a little challenging to connect with survivors in all of the areas it serves.

“We're the only accredited advocacy c enter in five counties. Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, and Santa Cruz. That extra burden of travel is unfair to survivors and more remote areas that they have to travel to get these high-quality services,” said Fordney.

Though the center has already been working to solve this issue, Fordney says the grant will help build capacity in those communities quicker.

“Because our organization serves minors, we’re really focused on teenagers who have survived sexual assault trafficking or intimate partner violence, which a lot of people call domestic violence,” said Fordney.

Fordney then explained the story of a 14-year-old girl whose life of abuse, drug use, and sex trafficking brought her to the center.

“She's an example of the kind of person, we would want to serve with this funding. It's but I would say, the good, the good news, always in all of our stories we get involved with these survivors coming out of their horrible situation. And it's really inspiring and humbling to be part of their healing,” said Fordney.

She says this funding is interactive among the recipients, partnering together to make a difference in the lives of those affected by violence.