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Center reports significant increases in child abuse cases.

Amberly’s Place had a busy start to 2024. Compared to the same period last year, the number of total victims served by the family advocacy center was up by 31% in the first two months of the year.

Perhaps more relevant are the significant increases in cases of child abuse, both physical and sexual.

Fittingly, April is both Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The center provided services to 300 primary and secondary victims in the month of January, a 25% increase, and 259 in February, a 38% increase.

The family advocacy center, a nonprofit organization, provides services to primary and secondary victims of abuse in Yuma County and parts of Imperial County.

Primary victims are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, both physical and sexual, and human sex trafficking. Secondary victims are those who witness and/or are directly impacted by the abuse of the primary victim.

Amberly’s Place will be raising awareness of child abuse and sexual assault prevention within the community by participating in several events this month. The center will be placing pinwheel gardens throughout Yuma County and participating in walks and proclamation events “to help shine a light on these issues as they affect members of our community daily,” noted Tori Bourguignon, executive director.

Bourguignon thanked those who sponsored and attended Amberly’s Dream Gala on Feb. 10 at the Quechan Resort and Casino.

“It was truly a night of celebration. We are grateful for the continued support of our community and appreciate all who attended, donated and purchased auction items that made the evening a spectacular event,” she said.

The family advocate center uses donated funds to help abuse victims with non-emergency expenses, such as changing locks and replacing broken glasses.

Last month, Amberly’s Place kicked off Week in Paradise, its biggest fundraiser of the year. Each $10 ticket enters supporters into a drawing for 10 different travel packages, with the biggest prize being a weeklong Hawaiian getaway with hotel airfare and spending money included.

Tickets are available for purchase online at This year’s drawing will take place at the Fun Factory on June 1, with an early-bird drawing held before the main drawing. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.

A ticket is also good for entry to Waylon’s Water Park on the day of the drawing. One ticket per person will allow entry between 9-11 a.m. Once a person has entered, they will receive a bracelet so they may enjoy the water park and features all day. Entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum capacity of 1,000 individuals.

Another event that will benefit Amberly’s Place is coming up next month. The center partnered with RDO Equipment for the Desert Coast Growers Invitational Golf Tournament on May 3 at the Yuma Golf and Country Club.

Those interested in playing as a team or being a tournament sponsor are invited to check out the tournament website link:

“It will be an incredible event, and we are honored to have been selected by RDO as a partner agency. We are truly grateful for their support,” Bourguignon said.

The center has a response team that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To talk to a crisis advocate, call the 24-hour helpline: 928-373-0849.

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