SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 26

SIDEBAR FEATURE

MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

The Global Child Abuse Epidemic
with a Local Solution
By Kristen M. Feden, Esq.

the two worked diligently to create a meaningful presentation that
highlighted their accomplishments.
Judge Ferman is an esteemed member of the Montgomery
County Family Bench and the prior County District Attorney.
She began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney and
quickly rose through the ranks as Captain of the Sexual Crimes
and Child Abuse Unit, Chief of the Pretrial and thereafter the
Trials Divisions, then First Assistant. By 2008, she made history
by becoming the County's first female District Attorney. That
same year, she co-founded with Laurie O'Connor of OCY,
Mission Kids in Montgomery County, a non-profit organization
dedicated to bringing professionals who respond to allegations of
child abuse together to work as a team to develop investigation
and intervention strategies that will best serve the children of this
County. Unsurprisingly, she is also the recipient of numerous
awards and honors, including many for her commitment to the
community, and her role in ensuring that children remain safe.

E

very year, one billion children around the globe experience
violence; five will die by the end of this day. Several more
will be neglected and abused by the time you finish
reading this article. Violence against children, especially sexual
abuse perpetrated against children, is a worldwide problem, and
unfortunately, the United States, and Montgomery County, are no
exception. One out of ten children in the nation will be sexually
abused, with 15% of those child victims being under the age of
twelve.
Recognizing that this global epidemic requires global
collaboration, Montgomery County's own Judge Risa Vetri
Ferman and Abbie R. Newman, R.N., Esq., responded to the
15th European Regional Conference of the International Society
for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect's ("ISPCAN") call
for presenters. Loyal to the task of promoting the best interests
of children around the world, and equipped with the knowledge
of building a successful child advocacy center right here in
Montgomery County from the ground up, these women set into
action. Ms. Newman, Chief Executive Officer of Mission Kids
Child Advocacy Center ("Mission Kids"), called it "the natural
thing to do." Judge Ferman, of the Montgomery County Family
Bench, added, "As a community that has done some things that are
very effective, we have a responsibility to share those strategies and
solutions with other communities." Armed with a successful track
record of working tirelessly to serve the children of this community,
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Equally as decorated and dedicated to keeping our children safe,
Abbie R. Newman was the founding Executive Director and now
Chief Executive Officer of Mission Kids. In four short years, Ms.
Newman guided Mission Kids from startup to National Children's
Alliance accreditation. A certified registered nurse and lawyer, Ms.
Newman is the former President of the Pennsylvania State Chapter
of Child Advocacy Centers, holding that position from 2012-2014.
Today, she serves as the Chair of its External Affairs Committee.
In that role, she assisted Centre County, where the Sandusky case
was prosecuted, as well as several other counties in Pennsylvania,
with creating a child advocacy center. In 2013, she was appointed
by Governor Corbett to serve on the Children's Trust Fund Board
and Victim Services Advisory Committees, and later, in 2014,
to the newly statutorily created Child Advocacy Center Advisory
Committee. She is also active on committees of the National
Children's Alliance to develop and expand child abuse polices on
the national level.
With credentials so impressive and prestigious, and a proven
track record of dedication to the community, it is no surprise
that Judge Ferman and Ms. Newman were selected to present
at ISPCAN. There, they presented on the "Multidisciplinary
Collaboration to Protect the Best Interests of Child Abuse
Victims." The conference was attended by about five hundred
delegates from sixty-two different countries, all of whom were
child protective professionals. In the presentation, Ms. Newman
spoke about Mission Kids, how to start a center in one's locale,
and specifically the benefits of Child Advocacy Centers as a whole.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18

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SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 40
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http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2018-19
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/LRSINSIGHT
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2017-18
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2017
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