JCCA’s Programs for Sexually Abused and Exploited Children
Since 1822, JCCA has been serving vulnerable, at-risk children and families who have been neglected or abused, immigrant families, and people building new lives. Two JCCA programs are addressing the needs of sexually abused and exploited children: Gateways and the new Center for Healing.
For eight years JCCA has been treating the victims of commercial sexual exploitation in a pioneering program we call Gateways. As the only such residential program in the northeast, Gateways provides a wide range of carefully supervised and structured services such as medical treatment, intensive individual and family therapy as well as art therapy to help these young victims recover from the trauma they have experienced.
We are proud to announce our new Center for Healing. The Center’s newly-hired Director, Jessie Boye-Doe has extensive clinical, advocacy and community relations experience in the treatment of sexually abused and exploited child victims. Under her leadership, we will provide effective, cutting-edge clinical and supportive services to boys and girls who have been the victim of sexual abuse and/or commercial sexual exploitation. These victims often experience profound and devastating trauma and are at an increased risk of post-traumatic stress, depression, mood disturbances, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, violent and anti-social behavior, and unsafe interpersonal relationships. Our goal is to help these vulnerable and traumatized children heal; and enable them to return to their communities and live productive, healthy lives. Initially treating about 100 children on JCCA’s Pleasantville Campus, the Center for Healing will also train staff and treat other children across JCCA’s programs in all five boroughs, Nassau and Westchester counties. Read more >
Overcoming Abuse and Hardship to an Independent and Productive Life
Being born with cerebral palsy (and wheelchair bound) does not stop Dejulaira ("DJ") Lopez. Now 21 years old, she has endured many hardships but has also overcome many obstacles.
When she was 2, DJ was separated from her parents and family, except for one brother. She was in and out of seven foster homes. She recalls, “Some of the foster homes were supportive -- but in some homes I suffered from verbal, physical and sexual abuse. I felt like I was in a black hole and no one was hearing me.” That was 2008. She was only 14.
Then she came to JCCA Bridges to Health program which provided a range of specialized services for foster children in New York City. JCCA’s social workers, case workers and other experts helped her get a home health aide to help her bathe and learn to take care of herself. They arranged for a specialist to help her be more independent and learn to cook and clean and they encouraged her to go to school. She recalls, “I had been in and out of so many agencies, I lost trust in them. At JCCA, and through my case worker, I learned to trust again. Going to JCCA’s Bridges to Health was the turning point in my life.”
Today this extraordinarily resilient, resourceful, optimistic, strong, articulate young woman is living independently in her own home for the first time in her life She plans to attend Medgar Evers College and study psychology and poetry. She recently published a book of poems. She adds, “I don’t think I’d be here if it weren’t for JCCA case workers. I have overcome abuse and my past struggles and believe I will achieve my goals for the future."
JCCA provides comprehensive care to thousands of children, young people and families who come from New York’s many diverse communities. Since 1822, we have embraced those who need us most — abused, neglected and traumatized young people who are struggling with poverty, developmental disabilities and complex mental illness. We also work with disadvantaged Jewish immigrants and with Jewish children and their families in support of Jewish continuity. Our programs include foster and residential care, educational assistance and remediation, case management for young people with mental health challenges and services to families to prevent child abuse and maltreatment. JCCA offers safety, stability and lifesaving support to help our clients transform their lives. In everything we do, we are guided by the Jewish mandate of tikkun olam — the responsibility of every person to make the world a better place.
JCCA is authorized by the Council on Accreditation and recognized as a provider that continues to successfully
implement high performance standards and is delivering the highest
quality services to all of its stakeholders.
Approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse.