Latest Riedel Foundation grant benefits victims of child abuse

CAC check

Riedel Foundation trustee April Baldwin presents a $6,000 grant to Child Advocacy Center executive director Julie Seymore. | Photo courtesy of the Riedel Foundation

HANNIBAL, Mo. — A $6,000 grant award from the Riedel Foundation will help expand services to victims of child abuse in Hannibal. The Child Advocacy Center will use the money to buy a sophisticated recording system for a new forensic interview room.

In a press release, CAC employee Stephanie Tufts said, “Professionally recorded interviews are important for a couple of reasons. They eliminate the need for a child to relive their trauma over and over to different investigators in different locations. Recorded interviews are very helpful in prosecutions. In fact, sex offenders are 3.5 times more likely to confess if a forensic interview has been conducted at our center.”

The CAC has a room for forensic interviews that the Riedel Foundation helped fund in 2014. However, the number of children needing services since has grown, requiring the addition of a second room. The number of forensic interviews increased by nearly 40 percent between 2020 and 2021.

“We’ve worked with the Child Advocacy Center many times in the past, helping fund child abuse prevention, counseling and other programs,” Riedel trustee April Baldwin said. “They only reach out to us when they have a great need, and sadly, there’s always going to be a need for what they do. As we’ve seen, the need just keeps growing.”

Construction on the new forensic interview room should be finished late this spring.

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