As the child advocacy center for the Columbia River Gorge region, SafeSpace is promoting National Child Abuse Prevention Month throughout April.

Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. each year. No group of children is immune. While both boys and girls are likely to experience neglect, sexual and physical abuse. Girls are four times more likely to experience sexual abuse.

Locally, SafeSpace Children’s Advocacy Center of the Gorge collaborates with law enforcement and child protective services to provide a safe and healing place for child victims to tell their stories of abuse.

Since 2009, SafeSpace has served over 800 children from its five-county service region: Hood River, Wasco, Gilliam, Wheeler, and Klickitat County.

SafeSpace provides a single point of contact for child abuse victims, offering trauma-informed care in a child friendly environment. Children are interviewed by a highly skilled Forensic Interviewer and a medical exam is conducted by doctors specializing in child abuse.

Children and families have the support of an advocate who connects them to needed support, including counseling.

In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention.

It serves as a physical reminder of the healthy childhoods that we all want for our children.

The installation of pinwheels on the Hood River County Library lawn represents one of the over 800 children seen at SafeSpace for child abuse assessment.

In response to regional need for its services, SafeSpace is planning for growth.

In early 2021, the organization launched a capital campaign to create a permanent facility for the organization, and expand the services offered.

A new SafeSpace facility would double the organization’s capacity from 160 to 320 cases per year. \

Just recently, the State of Oregon announced it would invest $2 million in the project.

For more information about the mission and work of SafeSpace, visit www.safespacecac.org