BROWARD COUNTY, FL — April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to speak out and support survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every 73 seconds a person experiences sexual assault in the United States. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. Here in Broward, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported 688 rapes in 2019. According to the National Children’s Alliance, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually.
When it comes to sexual assault and child abuse, silence is not an option. The Nancy J. Cotterman Center (NJCC), Broward County’s only certified Rape Crisis and accredited Children’s Advocacy Center, provides services in a safe, non-threatening environment for survivors of sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking and their supportive family members. The professionals at NJCC are specially trained to provide crisis intervention and counseling as well as forensic medical exams and clinical child abuse assessments. Services are available to adult and child survivors and non-offending family members at no charge.
NJCC, part of Broward County’s Human Services’ Crisis Intervention & Support Division, provides:
*Crisis Support: 24/7 crisis services to survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and trauma and family members who have been impacted by these crimes.
*Child Protection Team: 24/7 services to survivors of child abuse and multi-disciplinary collaboration to ensure child wellbeing and safety.
*Counseling: Trauma-focused mental health services to survivors of child abuse, sexual violence and human trafficking and their non-offending family members.
*Medical: 24/7 forensic medical exams for survivors of sexual violence, child abuse and human trafficking and medical consultations.
The Nancy J. Cotterman Center encourages residents to wear denim or denim ribbons on Tuesday, April 20, Denim Day in Broward County. “By wearing denim, residents help increase awareness of sexual violence and child abuse and ultimately foster greater understanding and prevention,” said Ana María
Ferrer, Human Services Administrator for Nancy J. Cotterman Center. “As a community, we should support sexual assault and child abuse survivors and understand that it’s never their fault. NJCC unconditionally supports survivors and helps them heal.” Last year, the Crisis Unit provided more than 7,500 episodes of service.
On April 20, at the Broward County Commission meeting at the Governmental Center, Commissioners will present a proclamation at 10AM to community partners that collaborate with the Nancy J. Cotterman Center recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month and April 20th as Denim Day in Broward County.
For more information, contact the Nancy J. Cotterman Center at (954) 357-5775 or the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Helpline at (954) 761-RAPE (7273).