Women Auxiliary Leaders Present Donation to Help Victims of Child Abuse

Contributed By Tad Walch, Deseret News staff writer

  • 28 June 2018

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, left, hands a donation to Tracey Tabet, program administrator for the Utah Children’s Justice Centers, at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon presented a $50,000 donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Utah’s Children’s Justice Centers on Wednesday, June 27, to support the center’s work with victims of child sexual abuse.

The Young Women General President also announced the Church will make a $25,000 donation to A Breeze of Hope Foundation, a Bolivian organization that works to address sexual violence against women and children.

“It’s OK to talk about it,” Sister Cordon said. “We need our girls and young women and our women to know that, though something bad has happened to you, your worth remains the same,” she said. “Abuse doesn’t change who you are, and it’s not your fault. We need to heal.”

She toured the Avenues Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City with Sister ​Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, and Sister Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency. They were accompanied by the counselors in the Young Women General Presidency, Sister Michelle Craig and Sister Becky Craven.

“We know how many children around the world look to them for leadership, for guidance,” said Tracey Tabet of the Utah Attorney General’s Office. She said the donation would help children at many of Utah’s 23 Children’s Justice Center locations, which assist 5,500 child victims every year.

Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, read messages written by children who have received care at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Cordon called child abuse and child sexual abuse a societal problem and expressed gratitude for the Children’s Justice Center’s efforts.

She read a letter from LDS Church leaders:

“On behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society General Presidencies, we acknowledge the important role your organization plays in our community. We offer our gratitude for the exceptional way your organization has lessened the effects of abuse for so many.”

This is the fourth consecutive year the Church has made donations supporting child abuse treatment and prevention.

In 2015, the Church donated $100,000 to the state’s Children’s Justice Centers. In 2016, it gave $25,000 to the centers and $100,000 to the National Children’s Alliance. The Church received the alliance’s National Philanthropy Leadership Award in Washington, D.C., a year ago. In 2017, the Church provided $120,000 to the CJC.

Utah has 23 Children’s Justice Center locations statewide. Families who have experienced abuse can visit the centers to access resources such as counseling, information about legal services, law enforcement support, and information to help them overcome abuse.

Bolivia has the highest rate of sexual violence in Latin America. A Breeze of Hope Foundation offers social, medical, and legal services to abuse victims and provides education and training to government officials, legal professionals, and the public.

A message written by a child is displayed at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, left; Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President; and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, attend a meeting at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Susanne Mitchell, director of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Centers, speaks with leaders of the Church’s women auxiliary leaders at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, left, speaks with Tracey Tabet, program administrator for the Utah Children’s Justice Centers, at the Avenues Children’s Justice Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Photo by Laura Seitz, Deseret News.