Abused and maltreated children will benefit from the funding secured for new resources by the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society.
The money comes from the Department of Justice Canada and the Ending Violence Association of BC and will be put toward a Cowichan-based Child and Youth Advocacy Centre dubbed the “Raven’s Nest.”
The aim is to help youth and their caregivers in need from Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, Malahat and Cowichan territories, the CVRD and all its member areas and municipalities to navigate resources and child protection services, including the courts.
Lia Versaevel is the program’s supervisor.
“Versaevel comes with decades of advocacy experience, and she is enthusiastic about this opportunity to better serve children and youth, supporting them through the process of forensic interviews and court, on towards a healing journey,” said a press release issued by CWAV.
It’s a new role Versaevel is pleased to take.
“I am glad to have this opportunity to bring together the skills and resources of so many people in the region to better serve children who have been victimized,” she said. “A multidisciplinary approach is the best way to ensure that children are not re-traumatized by needing to tell their experience multiple times. This process protects children, educates the public, and increases the likelihood of holding people accountable.”
CWAV said “multiple agencies in the Cowichan Valley including three Designated Indigenous Authorities, MCFD, School District 79, the RCMP, Cowichan Intercultural Society, ER and medical personnel, counsellors, victim services agencies and others, have been working towards this goal of opening the Child and Youth Advocacy Program for many years.”
After a needs assessment and a lot of research, it’s finally time for the project to launch.
The Raven’s Nest child and youth advocacy program can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-606-1712, or through the switchboard at CWAVS 250-748-7000.