BROWNSVILLE, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — More children being victimized, means the need for increase in assistance, on Friday, Monica's House, a child advocacy center, cut the ribbon to a new facility. Officials say the old building was too small and no longer able to accommodate the number of children they were seeing daily, Na'Tassia Finley has more on the new Monica's House.
Crimes against children seem to be on the rise here in Cameron County, Monica's House, a child advocacy center, is a place where children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse, or those who have witnessed a crime, come to be interviewed on their traumatic experience.
Monica's House Comm. Educator, Nelda De Leon, "When the doors first opened in 1991 we saw stats of maybe 450 interviews the first year that it was open for service. Now on 2013, we closed the year with 899 interviews."
De Leon says on any given day, seven to eight children are interviewed, "We can only imagine the number of cases that are out there that go unreported."
The center officially opened their new doors at a new, bigger location. The old building off of Pardes Line was just too small, De Leon says overcrowding was becoming an issue since the number of children being seen is, unfortunately, on the rise, "Why do you think Moncia's House in Cameron County is so important, obviously there's a need for it. We play a very crucial part in the investigative process in giving the child a voice."
Trained counselors from Monica's House interview children in a kid friendly, non-intimidating environment, while law enforcement watch and listen from a viewing room.
The idea behind the set up is to limit the number of times a child has to relive, by re-telling the story of their abuse and move forward with their lives, De Leon, "This is the place where healing actually begins."