Kane County opens special exam room to help child abuse victims

Kane County authorities opened a new child-friendly room at the Child Advocacy Center Tuesday where specialized doctors will examine victims of physical and sexual abuse as part of their overall recovery and continuum of care.

The agreement with the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford will send a medical team to the CAC Annex in Geneva once a month to examine victims of abuse.

The exam, lead by Dr. Ray Davis, a board certified child abuse pediatrician, is not necessarily to collect forensic evidence for a court trial, but it helps with a child's emotional well-being in an environment where they feel comfortable, officials said.

The room was decorated and painted by art students in the class of Lisa Dzuricsko at Marmion Academy in Aurora.

"Oftentimes, the child just needs to hear (from a doctor), 'You're OK,' " said CAC Executive Director Deb Bree. "That goes a long way as far as their emotional recovery. The goal was to create an environment that's soothing and relaxing in a nonthreatening way."

Davis said an exam can take 90 minutes or more, and it helps when children return to the CAC and see familiar faces instead of a new set of strangers.

"This is the ideal setting," he said. "It sets them at ease to be able to do the exam with faces they already know."

Added Shannon Krueger, a nurse practitioner who is part of Davis' team who also will conduct exams: "It's actually relief on a lot of girls and boys faces that they look normal. It's a huge sigh of relief that others can't tell what has happened to them."

The CAC already provides counseling, transitional services, victim advocates, police, and forensic interview specialists to cover every aspect of a child abuse or neglect case.

Before the specialized exam room, Kane County authorities took victims to Edward Hospital in Naperville where a board certified child abuse pediatrician there would conduct exams. But that doctor also was on emergency room duty, thus creating another stressor for victims and their families.

"There was additional anxiety going to a different place," Bree said.

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said the exam room has been a goal since he took office in fall 2010, and he credited Bree for her leadership and efforts to make it happen.

McMahon also thanked the Dunham Foundation for its continued support of the CAC. Earlier this year, the group donated $25,000 for the CAC to buy a minivan to transport victims and their families to the center and court hearings. The specialized exam room also cost $10,000 to renovate, plus another $20,000 to $25,000 in equipment and supplies. "Kids who are going through just a horrific event in their lives, we can do everything we can to minimize the repeat trauma," McMahon said.

Residents who want to help can donate to the Friends of the Child Advocacy Center, which collects items from pillows and sheets to toiletries and strollers for victims and their families that are displaced by abuse. For more information, visit

Kane County authorities fighting child abuse on all fronts

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