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Juliette's House Juliette's House Logo

Child Abuse Intervention Center

Juliette's House opened their doors in June of 1997. It was a grass roots effort that brought together a number of business people, teachers, school counselors, and law enforcement after recognizing that a child disclosing abuse or neglect was forced to go to the hospital, then the police department, and then to child protective services. Each time that child told their story they were traumatized over and over again.

The community wanted to create a child advocacy center where a child only has to tell the full story one time in a relaxing de-traumatizing environment by bringing together law enforcement, DHS, medical personal, and a forensic interviewer. CEO Russell Mark shares, "We can record the interview and if the case warrants going to court then there's a record of what that child said during the assessment process. We want to create an environment where the child feels so safe and so trusted that they're going to tell their story in their own way in their own time."

Russell came to Juliette's House in 2016. His resume is stocked full of remarkable opportunities in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. One highlight in his career was after the American with Disabilities Act had been passed when he was working in healthcare media. He proposed and managed the first ever televised coverage of the International Paralympic Games from Atlanta, GA. Russell recalls, "At the opening ceremonies, I was up in the press box with 100 of these sportscasters wondering why they were there. Within about 10 minutes these guys had tears running down their faces asking themselves, why haven't they been covering these great athletes and their powerful stories." Russell notes that moment as his shift into the nonprofit sector. He's worked in the nonprofit healthcare sector and spent time consulting with a variety of organizations and credits his circuitous career path to his role at Juliette's House, "I love this work. I feel like everything I have done in my life has sort of wound me up here so that I'm using all my skills and every day is a new challenge."

"COVID was been an amazing challenge but again because our staff is so good that we've rolled with every punch. We're fortunate that half of our organization is a medical clinic and so we have staff on the cutting edge of what's going on and what we need to do so we were able to quickly put safety protocols in place. We fortunately had enough toilet paper, but struggled to get PPP."

The problem Russell's team faced was that so many kids were so isolated for so long. "They weren't all in school yet. Teachers are a major reporter for us and they weren't seeing these kids, or they saw them in this weird zoom world that's very artificial," Russell shares. "We were very afraid that once the kids went back into school, we would see a tidal wave of disclosures from teachers. We needed to get in there and try and figure out what's going on. Is it abuse, neglect, depression, what's going on with these kids."

A priority for Juliette's House is ensuring that families are plugged in to all of the services and support that they need following an assessment. Russell explains, "I think one thing that a lot of people don't understand is that we don’t just work with the child. We work with the families for up to a year after they've been through an assessment. We get them plugged in with our community partners and make sure that they're being taken care of because if we don't then that child is left in that same environment with even more stress and nobody knowing how to deal with the situation. So we try to create that healthy environment." Four years ago they invested in in-house therapy to create a warm handoff from assessment into therapy with both the child and the family. "It's critically important in those early days right after they've been through an assessment with us that they get into treatment quickly and they need to know that they're believed, supported, loved, and cared for."

"I have never lived in a community that is so warm and so open and so philanthropic and giving across the board. This is an amazing place to live. First Federal has set a high bar for businesses about giving back and investing your organization in the community. There's not many communities like this, and I've lived all across the country. It's a great place to live."

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and will feature blue pinwheel displays throughout the county, and will conclude with their annual fundraising event, Celebrate the Children on April 27th. "This community is so caring and so philanthropic, it makes just a huge difference in the lives of the kids that we work with and with their families."

To learn more about Juliette's House, Child Abuse Prevention Month, or their upcoming fundraiser, visit

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