After The Call
Posted 12/14/2011 by Childhelp
The skilled counselors who staff the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) provide resources, information and emotional support to an average of 500 callers per day, but are rarely informed as to what happens after the call. They offer their advice, lend an ear and hope for the best.
This was not the case after a recent call from a worried grandmother. After observing a family friend fondling her 6-year-old granddaughter, she called the Hotline for help. She needed guidance and reassurance that she was not making too much of the situation. The counselor on the other end of the line was Kathleen, LPC who first joined the Hotline in 2000 and returned in July 2010. She assured the grandmother that she was doing the right thing and offered her the resources she needed to move forward. Like most other calls, Kathleen offered her support and hoped for the best.
Kathleen later learned that the grandmother had called back to thank her for helping her protect her young granddaughter. Based on the steps given to her by Kathleen, she learned that the little girl had been sexually abused by this man on a number of occasions and not just fondling over the clothes. As a result, the family was able to get CPS and the district attorney involved. The child made a clear and credible disclosure, and the police are diligently working to build a case against her abuser.
The family was devastated, but so thankful that they were able to get the assistance they needed to protect the child. “Being a crisis counselor requires a full range of knowledge and skills to best serve those who call,” says Kathleen. The grandmother stated that the family had tried to call local agencies for assistance, but were told to leave a message and someone would get back to them. No one did. When she called the Hotline, she figured it would be more of the same, but thankfully that was not the case. The grandmother thanked all of our crisis counselors for the work they do 24 hours a day, but she was especially grateful to Kathleen.
“We seldom know what impact or outcome our expertise, our experience, and our ability to communicate has on the people we interact with on the phone,” says Kathleen. “I am so grateful that this family was able to protect this child.”
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