The Amy Schulz Child Advocacy Center, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Dennis Schulz in memory of his daughter, Amy, who was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered.
After Amy's death, Dennis learned that nearly half a million children are reported as victims of sexual abuse each year. Though very few are murdered by the perpetrator, many experience significant distress or life-long trauma. Dennis' goal was to ease the pain of child sexual abuse victims and to prevent other children from experiencing the tragedy of sexual abuse.
The Amy Center is modeled after several other advocacy centers from around the country, and accredited by the National Childrens Alliance. All share the goal of teamwork and limiting the trauma to child sexual abuse victims. Working closely with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement agencies and state's attorneys, the Amy Center provides support services, court and medical advocacy and case coordination for child sexual abuse victims. The Center serves a seven county region of South Central Illinois: Clinton, Marion, Clay, Washington, Jefferson, Wayne and Hamilton counties. About 200 new cases are opened each year. Generally, 70 to 80 cases are active each month. The sad reality is that nearly a year passes from the first report of abuse to the end of the court proceedings. This is often an emotional roller coaster for the children and their families. The Amy Center advocates provide a supportive and friendly contact for the victims.
In addition to victim advocacy, the Amy Center conducts prevention education and training. Using the Good Touch, Bad Touch. program, the agency teaches safety and prevention skills to 4,000 children during the school year. Several hundred more participants attend parent fairs, workshops and seminars presented by the Amy Center.
The Amy Center is a charitable not-for-profit organization. Services to child abuse victims and family members are provided free of charge. Consequently, the agency relies on donations and grants for funding. Nearly 85% of every dollar is spent for program services, with the remainder used for general operating expenses. Donations of money, supplies and services are gratefully accepted. Volunteers also assist in various capacities.
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