Survivor shares story of how Child Advocacy Center helped her

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 5:18 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Child Advocacy Center in Lincoln works to help kids who are victims of different types of abuse.

Its programming aims to work with them through criminal proceedings, mental health healing and many other ways to help them get justice and process what has happened.

The CAC helps thousands of kids a year through these tough times.

Sophie VanBuskirk is now 20 years old enjoying a more independent life with her three-month-old son. She spends some of her time back at the CAC showing him off and catching up with those that helped her.

“I’ve changed a lot,” VanBuskirk said. “I’m definitely doing a lot better than what I was doing five years ago.”

She was just 15 years old when she was the victim of sexual abuse.

“It was a friend of my boyfriend at the time,” VanBuskirk said. “We went up to his house to go hang out and that’s when everything had happened”.

Sophie said she was not sure how she processed what had happened to her. It took her a few months to report the abuse to her therapist and contacted the Child Advocacy Center.

“I definitely did not feel as alone as if I was all by myself,” VanBuskirk said. “My advocate always kept me very in touch with what was going on with the case. When there were hearings and what was happening at them.”

Her advocate helped her every step of the way, and she said the two still talk and joke like a family. Passing Sophie’s son between the two and remembering how she taught her advocate how to do winged eyeliner.

“I mean she saw me go through ups and downs because I’ve had a lot in the past couple of years and she’s just been really great,” VanBuskirk said.

Sophie said the healing process has been a long road but she said her story is an example of pushing through the dark to get to the light even if it takes time.

“These things do happen a lot and they happen to a lot of people,” VanBuskirk said. “It sucks to go through it and no one deserves to go through that and these people are here for you. You’re not alone out there there are people that care about you.”

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