Every year 300,000 children are taken and sold through means of human trafficking, and it is estimated that 17,000 of those occur within the United States. The average age of a trafficked child is between 11 and 14 years old with the typical length of survival being 3 to 7 years. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. 95% of children know their perpetrator. These are bleak statistics and a stark reality that the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi (CACM) and the Champions of Children Award recipients battle against every day.
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi (CACM) recently recognized Captain Tonya Madison as one of the three 2019 Champions of Children Award recipients. The Champions of Children Award is bestowed to those that support the enhancement of multidisciplinary teams, aid local Children’s Advocacy Centers and exercise best practice approach to serving child victims and their families.
Captain Tonya Madison leads the Criminal Investigations Division and is the first female leader in the 148-year history of the Jones County Sheriff’s Office. Captain Madison specializes in investigating child sexual and physical abuse cases and helped spearhead the development of the Jones County’s Multidisciplinary Team (MDT). Along with Cherished Hearts, Inc., Captain Tonya Madison has been an integral part in the establishment of a Children’s Advocacy Center in Jones County.