Posted by: sanyaandersenvie | November 3, 2011

Kempe Success Story: Kids know when things aren’t right. Just ask Emma and Jacob.

Donations from caring people, like you, allow us each year to rescue hundreds of children from the tragedies of abuse and neglect. The young brother and sister pictured here are two such children.

Emma and Jacob came to the Kempe Child Trauma Program (CTP) last year, shortly after their mother discovered that a close family friend had sexually abused both children on multiple occasions.

It was easy to see that something was wrong. The children had problems in the classroom and fell behind in their schoolwork. They had difficulty making and keeping friends, had nightmares and were extremely fearful.

Facing the abuse wasn’t easy, but both children worked hard in therapy, learning to understand and cope with the horrors they had suffered and start the healing process. Eventually, they were able to talk directly about the abuse, something that is often difficult for children. Thanks to The Kempe Child Trauma Program, the young siblings are now overcoming their fears and doing well in school.

Finding out about the abuse was also deeply disturbing to the children’s mother. CTP clinicians provided individual therapy for her to help deal with her feelings so she could fully support her children’s recovery.

Today, because of donors, like you, who support the Kempe Foundation, we have been able to offer great hope for a full recovery to the entire family.

The Child Trauma Program provides mental health treatment to children and families who have experienced trauma or other difficult life events. It provides evidence-based care by dedicated clinicians who help assess, treat and console child abuse victims and their families, including families like Emma and Jacob’s.

The upcoming year is a proud moment for all of us at the Kempe Center. It marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. C. Henry Kempe publishing his landmark paper, The Battered Child Syndrome. This singularly important paper enhanced worldwide awareness of abuse and exposed the public to its harsh realities. Dr. Kempe was a relentless advocate for changing policy, laws and perceptions to better protect our children.

The new year also marks the 40th anniversary of The Kempe Center itself. With the help of donations from friends who share our vision, the Kempe Center has helped thousands of children overcome the effects of abuse and go on to live satisfying lives.  During 2012, the Kempe Center will honor both of these important anniversaries, and the people who have helped make our work possible, through special events.

In the tradition of service exemplified by Dr. Kempe, we continue to look for new ways to make a difference in the lives of abused children. Our new Executive Director, Des Runyan, M.D. spoke recently about his goals for Kempe:

“I envision The Kempe Center as a place that produces nationally and even internationally prominent research to address the causes and consequences of child abuse and its prevention. I also see it as a beacon for effective treatment. Kempe, in partnership with a great children’s hospital and a great university, needs to build specialized mental health services to match its research and medical expertise.”

Only a few short weeks into his new role, Dr. Runyan is already fully focused on getting the new walk-in mental health clinic for child abuse victims open by February 2012.  What an enormous advancement this clinic will be for our children at their hour of greatest need. Your gift today moves us closer to raising the $400,000 needed to fund this program each year.

Clearly, these are exciting times at the Kempe Foundation, but they are also economically challenging. Resource cuts, brought on by our struggling economy, make your gifts more important than ever.

And, just as we are impacted, so are the people we serve. A difficult economy puts strain on families and typically, abuse increases. Our services are needed more than ever today. Over the past two years, 1,236 more children in Colorado suffered abuse and neglect than in previous years.

We again look to you, our caring and compassionate friends, to help us continue to reach out to children so in need of our help. The holidays seem the perfect time to help our children. Please give the gift of hope this holiday. Children like Emma and Jacob depend on you for a second chance at a happy childhood.

For the children,

Patricia L. Peterson, B.S.N., J.D.
The Kempe Foundation President and CEO

P.S. The holidays are a time to give thanks for all our blessings. They are also the perfect opportunity to help children suffering from abuse and neglect. You can make a difference for good today through your gift to The Kempe Foundation.

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