A close-up of one of Mozelle Spencer's murals in Dawson Place

A Place for Healing

Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center Offers Help to Children in Crisis

by Tammy Adamson-McMullen

Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center in Everett, Wash., is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of child victims of sexual and physical abuse. The center provides comfort to children caught up in unimaginable, chaotic situations by welcoming them into a child-friendly setting that provides protection, healing and justice.

The center exists in a multi-story office building in the downtown corridor. A new paint scheme, colorful murals and other improvements to the facility have given Dawson Place a whole new look, thanks to the artistry of Mozelle Spencer of Mozelle by Design and funding from employee groups from Amazon and Boeing. (See accompanying story, "Murals of Light.")

Dawson Place is unique in that it houses five agencies that deal with child abuse cases. While there are similar centers around the state, Dawson Place is the only one with all multi-disciplines under one roof. Within Dawson Place are: the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Special Assault Unit, Child Protective Services, Compass Health Child Advocacy Program and Providence Regional Health/Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse.

Together, these partnering agencies provide law enforcement, prosecution, victim advocacy, medical assessments, mental health counseling and referrals, and more. This arrangement benefits children and families in crisis in that they can receive the assistance they need at one location. It also allows professionals at the various agencies to work closely together in providing the best intervention and treatment to each child and family in need of help.

The need for such a center is great, since an estimated one in four girls and one in six boys are victims of sexual abuse during their childhood. Dawson Place serves approximately 25 new child abuse victims per week and more than 1,200 per year. The center is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, which has called Dawson Place “one of the best child advocacy centers in the nation.”

Donations to Dawson Place are always needed and always appreciated. You can make a donation through direct giving, through your personal Amazon account and/or when shopping with a Fred Meyer Rewards card, using the center’s nonprofit number 84615.

Additionally, Dawson Place is always in need of Matchbox cars and Doctor Seuss books. Details on how to donate can be found here.