It was difficult to come forward at first because I felt like it could have been my fault and the unknown of what would happen.

-Former Client at Dawson Place CAC

Every day at Dawson Place there are around 20 new faces walking through the doors. Feelings of anger, confusion, and sadness burdening most of them. This is my story as a client and survivor. My story as a client of Dawson Place.*

What services did you receive at Dawson Place?

Services that I received and used at Dawson Place were counseling, interview specialist, victim advocates, and I also met with law enforcement and prosecutors. Dawson Place was a safe and supportive place for me to be while I was working through a very disturbing time in my life. I felt validated and believed by everyone I met there.

As I mentioned, I met a lot of staff and did not know if the next person I met would judge me or even believe what I went through. Even the interview specialist was warm, and I felt comfortable telling her my story.  It could have been the dogs that made me feel comfortable. I really loved them. They made a big difference in helping me feel at ease during the interview.

Throughout my time at Dawson Place, I received TF-CBT. The therapist always found ways to help get what was on my mind out and help me find ways to cope with my memories and emotions.  Therapy is a big key to working through trauma and being able to move forward. From being a victim to helping me become a survivor of my story.

During the Process

Prior to my own experience, a family member had received services at Dawson Place, so I had some familiarity with the interview and therapy process. My family was supportive throughout, ensuring I attended appointments, participating in exercises with my therapist, and accepting me as I worked through my emotions. Though I sometimes dreaded appointments due to the difficult memories and emotions I had to confront, each session left me feeling a little lighter.

My victim advocate was with me throughout the whole legal process, she was wonderful and explained all the steps, kept us informed of progress, attended all of the legal proceedings with my family, and the meetings with the prosecutors.

It was difficult to come forward at first because I felt like it could have been my fault and the unknown of what would happen.

Even though this was a difficult experience for me, and I would not want any child to go through this, it has made me stronger, and I have empathy for those who are suffering around me.  I want there to be more awareness about child abuse and services that are available to those who are going through it. That is why I chose to host an awareness night for Dawson Place for my Eagle Scout project in 2019.

Why are you choosing to share this with us and the community?

I think if more victims and survivors knew about Dawson Place, that it is a safe place where they are met with open arms, support, and belief, it would help them come forward. After my experience at Dawson Place, it has created a desire for me to give back and serve my community and go into Law Enforcement.

Going through the motions of the advocacy center, made me stronger and helped me find safety, justice and healing.

Where do I find a CAC near me?

Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center serves Snohomish County, but other child advocacy centers are located throughout the nation. Find your nearest CAC at the link provided below to know the resources in your community.

*Client’s name has been kept anonymous for privacy purposes

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