FARMINGTON - The problem of child abuse continues, even as predators seem to become ever more inventive in trying to perpetrate the crime.
“There is always some creative way to abuse a child another way,” said County Commissioner John Petroff.
“We (in the County Attorney’s Office) are doing more and more (to fight) Internet crimes. As far as law enforcement, it is one of our top priorities,” he said.
“If there’s anything that affects our sensibilities, it is that someone would do something to hurt a child,” Petroff said.
The Davis County Children’s Justice Center (CJC) is a place specially designed to assist child victims, and their families.
The current facility in downtown Farmington is almost 2 1/2 years old, and is led by Tanya Perkins.
“We provide a very comfortable, homelike center for children to be interviewed in regarding abuse allegations,” she said.
Once a week, a multi-disciplinary team gathers to discuss current cases and needs. Members are drawn from the County Attorney’s office, also include detectives, medical personnel, prosecutors, child protective service workers, victim advocates from various agencies, and a Davis School District representative.
This team helps provide continuity among those agencies involved with abuse cases, as well as keeping those informed who are working with victims.
Parents receive information that includes resources they can use, including counseling and other community services.
The CJC also provides forensic interviewing training to investigators assigned to those cases, Perkins said. “It’s a very specific skill on how they need to conduct these interviews.”
She lauded passage of HB286S2 in the Utah Legislature, a sex abuse-prevention education bill. It gained support from Elizabeth Smart, among others.
“I’m so excited this bill passed,” Perkins said. “I hope that it allows children to become educated earier” about sexual abuse than might’ve happened otherwise.
Saturday, April 26, 7 a.m. to noon at 198 S. Main, Kaysville, the CJC will hold its annual Bike, Bake & Yard Sale. It is the primary fund raiser for the CJC. Confiscated bikes are donated by law enforcement agencies from across the county.
There will also be cotton candy, baked treats, toys and clothes available at a yard sale.
Also during the month, pinwheels will be placed in the lawn around the CJC to show support and create awareness of child physical and sexual abuse.
For more information, visit www.co.davis.ut.us/cjc or call 801-451-3560.