Children's Center of Southwest Missouri reaches service milestone of helping 20,000 victims of abuse

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri has reached a service milestone.

The Joplin facility, as well as it’s three other locations, has now cared for 20,000 childhood victims of abuse. Young people brought to the center in Joplin, Monett, Nevada or Butler are able to tell their story one time to a group of people with the goal of investigating, prosecuting, and providing help for traumatic events they’ve seen or been subjected to.

Executive Director Matt Stewart says the center serves 12 counties throughout southwest Missouri, and he says the environment at the centers is so much better for victims now than before.

“Way back when, we would interview them at our police station or in a busy hospital and that would just added to the trauma that the child had already witnessed and experienced and so now, by bringing them here, we are hopefully able to get them in a better situation,” said Matt Stewart, Executive Director, Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri.

Stewart says a number of the young people who were brought to the center as kids, are now adults. He says some of them support the center through donations or have served on the organization’s board of directors.

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