Through the work of the Family Advocacy Center of Northern Minnesota, the silent voices of victimized children are heard.
Prior to the creation of Advocacy Centers, young victims often had to tell their painful stories to a multitude of adults (i.e. police officers, prosecutors, doctors, social workers, etc.). This intrusive process would typically include multiple dispositions and medical exams at varied locations.
Coordination between the various agencies was often spotty and communication with the families involved was equally disjointed.
Consequently, it was found that children were prone to repeated traumatization by the very interview process that sought to help them!
In 2005, a collaborative effort between organizations in the Bemdji area and the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe began to form a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Their goal: to operate a medical-model family violence center to serve the wide needs of Northern Minnesota.
FACNM is currently the only medical-model assessment center in this region of the state and is one of the only centers in America to serve the needs of child sexual/physical abuse, adult sexual assault and domestic violence under one roof.
FACNM serves the entire 9th Judicial District: Kittson, Roseau, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Norman, Mahnomen, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Beltrami, Hubbard, Koochiching, Itasca, Cass, Crow Wing, and Aitkin Counties. In addition, FACNM proudly serves the Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth Reservations as well.
Today, all of the services needed by victims and their families (forensic interviews, medical exams, referrals, family support services, etc.) are provided in one centralized location. FACNM is a hub where representatives from many disciplines meet to discuss and make decisions about the investigation, assessment, treatment and prosecution of victim related cases. They work together in the best interests of the victim, providing an immediate response and ongoing support to help children and families recover from the trauma of abuse or violence.
Through this collaborative effort, the voices of victims are heard in a safe and supportive environment; minimizing multiple interviews and trauma.