Photography by: Ron Munden
The Martin House —
The children’s advocacy center model originated in 1983 by then-District Attorney Bud Cramer in Huntsville, Alabama. Recognizing that child victims were being re-victimized by the very system that was supposed to protect them, Cramer led a group of front line workers from CPS and law enforcement agencies, nurses, mental health providers, and others to establish the first Children’s Advocacy Center in 1985. Today, the Huntsville center is the National Children’s Advocacy Center and serves as a model and resource for advocacy centers across the country. Bud Cramer went on to serve as a US Congressman where he continued to fight for children until his retirement in 2008.
Amarillo is the proud home of the first CAC in Texas when The Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center opened its doors in 1990. Since then, communities all across the state have established multidisciplinary teams to investigate, prosecute, and provide intervention for abuse victims and their non-offending family members.
In 1998, leaders in both Gregg and Harrison counties began educating their communities regarding the need for a children’s advocacy center. East Texas CASA contacted Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, the membership association for CACs in Texas, and the process of starting a CAC in our community began.