Three grants totaling $33,000 will benefit PEI Kids’ Crisis Intervention for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse program, which, last year alone, provided immediate counseling services to 255 child victims of sexual abuse in Mercer County.
The grants were awarded by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; the Viola W. Bernard Foundation, based in New York City; and the Lawrence Township Community Foundation.
A new donor to PEI Kids, the Viola W. Bernard Foundation, supports innovative programs that address the interplay between social conditions and the psychological health of children and families. It is named for the late Dr. Viola W. Bernard, a leader in the field of community and social psychiatry who was a professor emeritus at Columbia University and who had a deep dedication to children’s mental health and community and social psychiatry.
The Lawrence Township Community Foundation is a longtime PEI Kids supporter. This grant will support the organization’s counseling services for child victims of sexual abuse, annually benefiting more than 25 Lawrence children and their families – as well as hundreds more children from all areas of Mercer County.
Funding from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, which supports numerous charitable organizations in the state, will be directed at helping child sexual abuse victims and their family members deal with trauma of sexual abuse, as well as the depression-related symptoms they may be experiencing.
“We are so very appreciative of the support from these three foundations, which comes at a time that we are witnessing increases in child disclosures of sexual abuse,” Executive Director of PEI Kids Penny Ettinger said. “One out of every four girls, and one out of every six boys are the victims of child sexual abuse. Without appropriate intervention and counseling, the trauma and its after effects can be devastating to them and their futures. PEI Kids’ programs help these young, innocent victims and their supportive family members heal.”
Based in Lawrenceville, PEI Kids has been a leader in addressing issues surrounding child sexual assault for over a quarter of a century. Through its Crisis Intervention for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse program, it provides immediate short term counseling to 95 percent of Mercer County’s reported cases of child sexual abuse. Since its inception, the program has served more than 5,000 child victims.
In recognition of the program’s success, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey recently named PEI Kids as the lead agency for the Greater Mercer Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse, which will work to educate every adult who works and/or lives in Mercer County on how to prevent child sexual abuse and how to recognize when a child may be being abused.