Bronx advocacy center helps young abuse victims

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and a Bronx-based nonprofit is helping provide a fresh start to victims.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and a Bronx-based nonprofit is helping provide a fresh start to victims.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and a Bronx-based nonprofit is helping provide a fresh start to victims. (4/18/16)

THE BRONX - April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and a Bronx-based nonprofit is helping provide a fresh start to victims.

Counselors at Safe Horizon Bronx Child Advocacy Center say their center is a safe place for victims of abuse.

Fabio Cotza, the center’s director, says he was sexually abused by his landlord when he was 10 years old. 

"My abuser basically threatened to have our family evicted from our house if I ever disclosed," says Cotza.

Cotza says he wants children who have been abused to know there is hope. He says all children that come to the center are well taken care of. All children who come to the center receive food, games and brand-new clothes.

Clinical director Urania Castaneda says the center’s doors are open to any child.

"We've had young children who come in here with skull fractures," says Castaneda. "We've had actual cases where kids have witnessed homicides to domestic violence."

Safe Horizon Bronx Child Advocacy Center is not only a safe place, it’s also a place where counselors can talk to victims and try to collect evidence and assist police.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz visited the center Monday, praising the work being done at the center.

"It gives me a sense of hope and it gives me a sense of pride that the folks here are working so diligently to make sure that they heal our children," says Diaz.

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