Comprehensive forensic medical care in a comfortable and non-threatening environment is offered at the Children's Justice Center (CJC), a part of Children's of Mississippi and Batson Children's Hospital. The program focuses on care for newborns through young adults who are suspected of being maltreated physically or sexually.
It is estimated that one in four girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. Research shows that only half of all abuse is reported. The CJC provides investigative, assessment and prevention services for possibly abused and neglected children and their families.
Serving as the Children's Justice Center's medical director is a pediatrician trained in child abuse prevention and care. He is the state's only board-certified forensic/child abuse pediatrician, a subspecialty made up of fewer than 200 pediatricians nationwide. A comprehensive head-to-toe exam is specially designed with young patients in mind to help ease their fears while tending to their medical needs.
Expert medical assessments, known as forensic examinations, help determine the presence of injury or medical problems. The specially trained team helps determine if and whether their cause is by abuse, neglect or accident. CJC clinicians are able to provide expert medical testimony as needed to promote the truth in all cases.
Children are referred to the child-friendly CJC by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, child advocacy centers, health care providers or law enforcement agencies. All are required by law to report suspected abuse cases.
All citizens of Mississippi are required by law to report all cases of suspected child abuse. Anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect should contact the state Department of Human Services' child abuse hotline at (800) 222-8000 or make an online report.