The Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre, an organization that focuses on abuse intervention and prevention, unveiled its new name on Wednesday: Luna Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.
“For us, we really just need a brand and a name that we can engage the community and that we’re well-recognized. We want people to know what we do,” said CEO Karen Orser.
“We work with our partners — and that’s Calgary police, RCMP, Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Justice and Solicitor General — and we bring all those professionals on site and that actually looks like about 125 of us. We support and work with the most severe and complex cases of child abuse and child maltreatment.”
The centre has been supporting children and youth since 2013, serving about 2,000 young people and their families each year.
Primarily, those files deal with the sexual abuse of children under 18, Orser said.
“Everything we do is about trying to minimize ongoing trauma for kids and families who have gone through something really difficult,” she said.
“When kids have to tell their story just one time, and we can work together and share information and make sure that nobody falls through the cracks or there are no gaps in services, and we can really provide kind of the most comprehensive intervention possible, we’re really setting kids and families up to heal and thrive and just go on to really be successful after something that can be so difficult.”
The centre said the new name is inspired by the moon, a “powerful presence that shines a light in the darkness,” and a great symbol for healing and renewal.
“We were so compelled by the story of the moon and the idea of light through dark times and light when you need it most,” Orser said.
“The moon just has this strength and softness to it, and that’s really who we strive to be for our children and youth and who we also see them as: the softness and the strength.”
The Luna Centre said one in three Canadians will experience some form of abuse before the age of 16, which translates to a higher risk for lifelong physical and mental health issues.