Kristi House and 350 friends and supporters came together for organization’s 8th Annual Breaking the Silence program designed to raise awareness and support for children overcoming sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.
Event Philanthropic Chairs Lourdes Leon-Vega and Dr. Otto Vega laid the foundation for raising an amazing $332,000 in gifts and pledges for services this year, helping to surpass $2 million raised since the program’s inception. Presenting Sponsor Badia Spices underwrote all the costs of the event, enabling 100% of proceeds to go directly to help child-victims.
The 2014 Host Committee included Kara Zeder, Dana DeMaria Nateman, Adrienne DiPrima & Donna Smorchoke, Loretta & Miguel Nido and Juan Trescastro & Judy Ortiz-Trescastro.
Guests heard compelling stories of hope and triumph from two young women who each overcame horrific sexual abuse by family members. Both credited their Kristi House social workers and therapists for helping them to heal from the trauma and start them on their journeys to recovery. Kristi House’s commercial sexual exploitation program manager, Maria Clara Rodriguez, talked about the unspeakable abuse exploited children endure, and how Project GOLD is helping girls to escape dangerous lives at the hands of traffickers and predators.
“We launched Breaking the Silence to give a voice to the silence that for years has surrounded victims of childhood sexual abuse,” Executive Director Trudy Novicki said. “Through this program, our community is learning that victims are no longer silent, but have found their voice and are thriving. All children must have this opportunity.”
Kristi House was founded in 1995 to bring together the legal, medical and emotional support services needed to help child sexual abuse victims and their non-offending family members. Kristi House serves as the Children’s Advocacy Center for all of Miami-Dade County, working closely with seven other agency partners.
Kristi House is located in the Health District at 1265 NW 12 Avenue, next to the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital campus. Its south facility is located on U.S. 1 and 152 and its north facility is located at 18441 NW and 2 Avenue. A Drop In Center serves children who have been exposed to commercial sexual exploitation. Kristi House has served more than 12,000 victims of child sexual abuse and their families. Thousands more are reached every year with education and prevention outreach programs. Services include case coordination/case management, therapy, comprehensive assessments, transportation, advocacy and emergency assistance.