The organization was founded by Nicole and her daughter Maci. The passion and drive behind starting this organization came after Maci and her brother Evan, who is autistic, were both victims of sexual abuse and assault. Nicole quickly discovered how difficult it is to find trauma-responsive mental health clinicians that are trained to work with these victims and their families. She also experienced many challenges in trying to navigate the criminal justice system as there are no protocols in place to help children with disabilities. Lack of education and social support for providers who care for them, and the stigma of not talking about it, puts individuals with disabilities at a higher risk of abuse.
Voices of Change 2018 was founded so that other special needs victims of sexual abuse and assault would not have to be alone in their journey.
Our mission is to begin to eradicate child abuse in the special needs population, with a focus on children 18 years of age and under, through ADVOCACY, EDUCATION and EMPOWERMENT. As one of the few organizations advocating for children with disabilities, we are working to educate them and their families about sexual abuse, how to prevent it and empower them to speak up.
We all think “It will never happen to my child.” I know. I thought that too, and I did educate my children from a very young age. The fact is, sexual abuse DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!