Shattering Myths of Child Abuse Fabulous Fund Raiser Bita Habashi

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					                                                                         CATS Newsletter, Volume 7 – Fall 2006

                              Fabulous                                          Shattering Myths
                              Fund Raiser                                       of Child Abuse
                              Bita Habashi
                               “Bita means “unique” and I believe
                               that she is a unique child in many
                               aspects” said Maryam Habashi of her
                               8-year-old crime fighting daughter
                               who is determined to catch the bad
                               guys who abuse children. It was almost
                               two years ago when Bita first saw a
                               flier at Albertson’s Market announcing
Northridge Hospital’s annual “Victory for Victims” Walk & Run to
benefit its CATS program. When her mother told her that raising
$750 would help the police catch one “bad guy”, Bita launched her
campaign. Armed with a lunchbox with a cat pasted on the front, she
told everyone (teachers, parents, family and friends) about the program
and asked them to make a donation to CATS. On the day of the event
Bita presented $752 to the CATS program. The following year, with
                                                                                MYTH: Molestation is a one-time
the help of her friend, Samantha Sanchez, she raised $1,250.
                                                                                incident for a child.
Bita’s crime fighting efforts have touched the hearts of everyone she
                                                                                FACT: Molestation is never a one-
meets. The Daily News captured her story in 2005 and 2006. Last
                                                                                time incident and children do not
August, Bita was nominated for the Kohl’s Kids Who Care program by
                                                                                get over it like a virus. Nationwide,
Luanne Paglione, the principal at Woodcrest School, where Bita is a
                                                                                millions of adult victims continue
third grader. She was honored at the local, regional and national levels        to bear the emotional scars of child
and received $6,000 in scholarship money from Kohl’s Department                 sexual abuse.
Stores. Bita is donating $1,000 of her scholarship award to CATS.
                                                                                Source: Los Angeles City Attorney
“Bita is absolutely amazing! You rarely                                         Rocky Delgadillo’s “No Secrets”
find such dedication to community                                               Program, A Guide to Protecting
service in such a young person”, said                                           Your Child Against Sexual Abuse
Bonnie Bailer, Director of the Center
for Healthier Communities that
oversees the CATS program.
                                                                                  WHAT’S INSIDE
Bita’s goal is to raise $10,000 for
CATS. If you want to join her team for                                          • Jessica's Law
the April 15, 2007 Victory for Victims                                          • John Laing Homes
Walk/Run, please give her Mom,
Maryam, a call at (818) 884-5230.         Bita (right) with friend              • Creative Artists Agency
                                          Samantha Sanchez and Victory          • CATS Wins at Bob's
When she grows up, Bita has               for Victims Walk/Run MC
several career goals. She wants to be a
                                          Shawn Parr                            • CATS Statistics
professional dancer, a marine biologist, a                                      • Victory for Victims 2007
crime-solver – and the first female U.S. President!                             • CATS Meow Guild
      ounded in 1997 in response to a community need, Northridge Hospital Medical Center's CATS is the only 24-hour, 7-day-a-week
      program for victims of sexual abuse of all ages in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys of Los Angeles County. CATS has
      three service components: 1) Medical evidentiary examinations and forensic interviews provided in a supportive environment
by specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners; 2) Case managed counseling and referrals and 3) Outreach and training.

                              Message from                                               for life. It enhances sentence and parole
                              State Senator                                              times, eliminates “good-time” credits,
                                                                                         increases penalties for possession of
                              George Runner                                              child pornography, protects children
Sexual crimes committed against the children of our                                      from internet luring, and prohibits
communities are reprehensible. As the author of the                                      registered sex offenders from living
California Amber Alert enacted in 2002, and co-author of                                 within 2,000 feet of any school or park.
Jessica’s Law (Proposition 83 on the ballot this November)
along with my wife Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, I                   My intentions are to make available every means to protect
applaud and highly laud the work being done by CATS.                the children of our communities from harm due to sexual
                                                                    abuse. CATS is such a valuable program. I am proud to
California’s Jessica’s Law was written to help law                  work alongside it and law enforcement with legislation that
enforcement track all sexual predators through a Global             fully prosecutes and punishes those who would commit
Positioning System device worn by convicted sex offenders           these awful crimes upon our precious children.

                               John Laing                           Builder of the Year” from Big Builder magazine, “2004
                               Homes – Proud                        Builder of the Year” from Professional Builder magazine,
                               Sponsor of CATS!                     and “Builder of the Decade” in 2000 from independent
                                                                    research firm Eliant.
John Laing Homes is the second largest privately held
homebuilder in the nation and consistently ranks among              Based in Newport Beach, California, John Laing Homes
                                industry leaders in overall         concentrates its homebuilding efforts in California
                                customer satisfaction by            and Colorado. Visit one of their many Los Angeles/
                                J.D. Power & Associates.            Ventura communities in Sylmar, Marina del Rey,
                                The company has received            Oxnard or Palmdale today. For more information visit
                                numerous awards,          
                                including “America’s
                                Best Builder” for 2006              Thank you John Laing Homes for helping victims of sexual
                                from Builder magazine,              abuse by supporting CATS’ Annual “Victory for Victims”
                                “2005 Most Admired                  Walk & Run.

                                            Visit our web site at:                              CATS is available to conduct
                                                                                                on site workshops on Mandated
                                                                                                Reporting & Child Abuse at Los
                                            for more information and check
  Always                                    out our online computer based                       Angeles-based agencies.
Available                                   training on reporting child abuse                   For more information, please call
                                                                                                (818) 785-3489.

                                      Together we can make a difference
Help support the vital work of CATS by sending a donation to: Northridge Hospital Foundation/CATS
                                                              18300 Roscoe Blvd.
                                                              Northridge, CA 91328-9920
                                                                                CATS Newsletter, Volume 7 – Fall 2006

Creative Artists Agency                                       CATS Statistics
Supports CATS                                                 The Northridge Hospital’s
This year CATS was selected as one of the beneficiaries       Children’s Assault
of Creative Artists Agency’s (CAA) Annual Company             Treatment Services
Clean Up Day. On Saturday, July 29, CATS joined CAA           (CATS) program is
Foundation’s Miki Woodard and Kristen Irving at Clover        the only 24-hour-a-
                                                              day, seven-day-a-week,
                                                              multi-disciplinary sexual
                                                              assault and abuse resource
                                                              available to children and
                                                              adults and their families in the
                                                              San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.
                                                              The CATS Team of medical professionals is trained
                                                              to meet the unique medical and emotional needs of sexual
                                                              assault and abuse victims in a caring environment. Team
                                                              members provide victims with prompt, sensitive, and
                                                              compassionate emergency medical treatment along with
                                                              expert forensic investigation.

                                                              Fiscal Year 2006 CATS treated 720 victims

                                                                  Age         Victims             Race / Ethnicity
Elementary School in West LA for its first clothing and            0-6          148                  54% Latino
supply drive held in conjunction with the community clean
up event. Due to their donations, CATS can ensure new             7-12           80               31% Caucasian
clothing and toys for many child abuse victims who will be       13-17          170           12% African American
cared for by the program.                                         18+           322                   2% Asian
                                                                 TOTAL          720                   1% Other

Bob’s Big Boy Opens                                           The majority of victims are brought to CATS by law
its "Big" Heart to CATS                                       enforcement and child protective services, the only
                                                              agencies that can authorize a CATS forensic interview
Each month Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant                           and forensic physical examination. All examinations are
in Burbank invites their customers                            provided at no cost to the victim.
to participate in its “Charity of the
Month” program by voting for their                            The CATS clinical team of experts consists of a Medical
favorite charity from a list of three                         Director, Clinical Manager, five nurse practitioners and
local charities. The charity to receive                       one nurse, all with advanced training as Sexual Assault
the greatest number of votes is                               Examiners and forensic interviewers. The CATS team is
awarded 1 percent of the total monthly                        frequently called on by the District Attorney’s Office as
dining room sales.                                            expert witnesses at trial.

Bob’s Big Boy selected CATS as one                            During Fiscal Year 2006, CATS also provided prevention
of three charities for the month of August 2006. Thanks to    education on child abuse reporting issues to more than
all of our supporters, we won BIG! CATS was awarded           1,200 professionals who work with children.
$3,816 and invited to return.

Bob's Big Boy initiated its Charity of the Month in 1996
and has since donated $395,850.75 so far to assist those
                                                                Did you know that last fiscal year Northridge Hospital
                                                                Medical Center provided over $40 million worth of
less fortunate. Bob's Big Boy Restaurant is located at 4211
                                                                community benefit services to residents of the San
Riverside Dr., Burbank.
                                                                Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys!
                                                                                        CATS Newsletter, Volume 7 – Fall 2006

                                                                 CATS Meow Guild
                                                                 The CATS Meow is a guild dedicated to ensuring healthier,
                                                                 happier lives for children and adults who have been sexually
                                                                 abused by supporting the prompt medical treatment, psycho-social
                                                                 intervention and prevention education provided by the Children’s
                                                                 Assault Treatment Services program and its community partners.

                                                                 CATS Meow Guild Founding Members:

     Mark your calendar for                                      • Christine Schaeffer, Chair
                                                                 • Kathy & Randy Adams
                                                                                                 • Dr. Gordon & Marge McGregor
                                                                                                 • Beckaa Mosher
   Sunday, April 15, 2007                                        • Pam & John Alfenito
                                                                 • Bonnie Bailer
                                                                                                 • Thordis & Darell Norris
                                                                                                 • Carole Pump
                                                                 • Joan & C.J. Geisbush          • Ube & David Pump
      Don't miss the 5th annual                                  • Barbara Hawthorne             • Dr. Michael & Denise Vitullo
    Victory for Victims                                          • Sherry & Al Lapides
                                                                 • Dr. Harold E. Lowder
                                                                                                 • June & Thomas Waugh
                                                                                                 • Bessie Wilson
    5K & 10K Walk/Run
                                                                 Guild Welcomes New Lifetime Members
                                                                 • Eileen Bryson                  • Randall Gates
    For sponsorship or volunteer opportunities,
                                                                 To become a member or for more information,
     please contact our Event Coordinator at                     please call (818) 785-3489.
 or at
                  (818) 363-5035

                              Center for Healthier Communities

                              14531 Gault Street
                              Van Nuys, CA 91405

   Center for
   (818) 785-3489
  Bonnie Bailer, JD
 Kathy Adams, BSN
CATS Clinical Manager
  Ed Lowder, MD
CATS Medical Director

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