Safe Passage is at the center of an inter-agency collaborative effort that minimizes the trauma to victims of child abuse by centralizing services in one, child-friendly location. We act as team leader, coordinating the responses of our team partners in the medical, investigative, social service, legal, and mental health arenas. This holistic approach keeps investigations child-focused and ensures that children and caregivers receive the broadest range of support in the least intrusive manner possible.
Annually, Safe Passage serves more than 900 children and non-offending caregivers in the midst of abuse investigations. Safe Passage serves El Paso and Teller Counties as well as referrals from additional counties throughout Colorado. The services outlined below are always provided free of charge.
How We Can Help
The “forensic interview” is a child friendly, non-leading, developmentally appropriate way to gather information from children and teenagers, in a warm and welcoming environment. The forensic interview assists the Department of Human Services and Law Enforcement agencies in their investigations, while keeping the best interest of the child at the forefront. Interviews are digitally recorded for use by involved partner agencies to minimize children’s trauma by avoiding the need for multiple interviews of victims. The forensic interviewers are highly trained professionals with advanced understanding of child development, memory, suggestibility, linguistics and trauma.
Forensic Medical Exams
When needed, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) provide on-site forensic medical exams. These exams, and the evidence they often reveal, can be key in the investigation and prosecution of abuse. Providing exams in the comforting environment at Safe Passage helps reduce stress and trauma for children and their caregivers.
Family Support Advocates provide immediate crisis intervention and referrals to community resources as needed. These services are ongoing and available to victims and caregivers even after the investigatory/judicial processes are complete.
Court Preparation and Accompaniment
The goal of court preparation is to educate child victims and their caregivers about the judicial process. Children receive court preparation and caregivers are offered court-orientation sessions. Should a victim be called on to testify, his/her Family Support Advocate will be with the child in the courtroom.
Educational Support Groups
Safe Passage also offers the following psycho-educational support groups for victims and their non-offending caregivers:
- 7-Week Teen Group (for victims aged 13 to 18)
- 7-Week Non-Offending Parents/Caregivers Support Groups
Training for Professionals
Safe Passage coordinates a variety of training opportunities that build competency and awareness for professionals working with victims of abuse, and for mandatory reporters in both religious organizations and schools.
The first step is often the hardest. Safe Passage is here to help.
Safe Passage Children’s Advocacy Center:
423 S. Cascade Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80903