May 7, 2013
Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, is available for comment.
Contact: Kath Cummins, 202.590.0837, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cleveland victims highlight the horror of child abuse in American
Media need to allow them time and space to recover.
Cleveland women Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have their freedom today after being abducted and held captive for a decade.
As more details of this horrific case unfold, The National Center for Victims of Crime calls on the public and the media to exercise restraint so that these women, and the very young child born to one of them in captivity, are allowed time and space to recover.
"We can't give them back ten years, but we can give them respect, privacy and time to rebuild their lives," said Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
"These courageous young women and this young child will need individualized treatment and counseling in a safe, secure environment," Ms Fernandez said.
"It is understandable that the public want to know what happened, and media outlets have to do their jobs. But the potential for them to be re-victimized by intrusion and exploitation is real."
It is also important to for us to recognize, that every day in every state of America children are sexually abused. Most are not abducted, but are abused in their own homes or by people they trust.
The Cleveland case highlights the need for our communities to do everything in our power to prevent child sex abuse and support child victims and adult survivors.
As this is an active investigation, The National Center urges people to co-operate and share relevant information with the local authorities, including the Cleveland Police and Cleveland FBI, who can be reached on 216.522.1400.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.