The NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) announced that it will join several state agencies, media outlets and corporations in sponsoring the 9th Annual Bivona Child Abuse Summit, to be held in Rochester, NY on April 27-28, 2017. This two-day  conference provides specialized training for professionals who work with children, including children with intellectual or developmental disabilities, to learn more about child sexual and physical abuse issues.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bivona Child Advocacy Center by co-sponsoring this year’s Child Abuse Summit,” said Justice Center Executive Deputy Director Jay Kiyonaga. “Similar to Bivona’s approach, the Justice Center uses a multidisciplinary team model in its investigations and prosecutions and works to strengthen the linkages among the various disciplines to protect against the re-traumatization of vulnerable victims and witnesses.”

The realities surrounding child abuse are staggering, and for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities, the numbers are even more significant,” said Mary Whittier, Executive Director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center. “With the support from the NYS Justice Center, more professionals will have access to training and prevention opportunities to better support all children who have endured the trauma of sexual and physical abuse. Bivona is grateful for this partnership, and we look forward to helping children heal together.”

The Bivona Child Abuse Summit is held in conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Nationally recognized print and broadcast journalist Sacha Pfeiffer will be presenting the keynote address. Pfeiffer was a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team that won the 2003 Pulitzer Price for Public Services for its stories on the Catholic Church’s cover-up of clergy sex abuse.

Summit workshops will address a variety of topics including how to build trust, how to respond to sex trafficking cases, and assessing trauma in children and adolescents. Justice Center Individual and Family Support advocates who provide guidance and information to victims, their families, personal representatives, and guardians about the Justice Center’s reporting and investigation process will host an information table and be on hand to answer questions about the Justice Center’s work.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a toll-free hotline for people to report allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects an act of abuse or neglect has been committed can make a report.

The Justice Center has authority to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect in covered facilities and programs, pursue administrative sanctions against staff found responsible for misconduct, and its Special Prosecutor/Inspector General shares jurisdiction with local District Attorneys to prosecute criminal offenses involving allegations of abuse or neglect. 



Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications

(518) 549-0200

[email protected]