Small Talk helps kids of abuse heal

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Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:34 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A local non-profit is making an impact in the lives of child victims of abuse. It can be extremely difficult for victims of sexual and physical abuse to speak out.

They’re hoping a little small talk helps children to heal.

“We help children who have been the victim of sexual and physical abuse,” said Claire Redmer.

Abuse that happens far too often and goes unnoticed even more.

“I think this is a crime that really thrives in secrecy,” said Redmer.

Claire Redmer is the development director at Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center. She says in Lansing, there was a need for more centers advocating on behalf of child victims.

“Children and families would really struggle to just navigate their way through the complicated process that is the criminal justice portion of a child abuse investigative process,” said Redmer.

Small Talk opened its doors in 2011 with the goal of giving kids the best opportunity to tell their stories and hold offenders accountable.

“I think trauma can have a lifelong impact, but our goal is to be able to heal and help walk alongside those kids and families as they heal from this,” said Calista Chaltron.

Calista Chaltron is a trained counselor at Small Talk. Kids can learn and grow in a difficult process.

“A lot of kids have said things like I just felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders or I’m so glad I got to tell my story and have that out in the open,” said Chaltron.

Small Talk starts with hearing their story all the way to providing support in the courtroom.

“It’s a public health crisis,” said Redmer. “We have to show up and be honest with the problem.”

Redmer hopes every child is able to take their past scars and heal from them.

“I think the resiliency that kids have even in the face of something terrible that happened to them, you wouldn’t expect, I think the strength that they show, and that’s why I’m so glad we’re here,” said Redmer.

A place where small voices can be heard. If you or someone you know is in need, reach out to your local law enforcement or for more information.

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