Krissy Zambrano - Support Services Coordinator/CSEC Advocate
Krissy has been with Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services (WCYFS) for 22 months (almost 2 years) but has been in this type of service for 8 years. As a CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Advocate, Krissy works with minors who are forced into sexual exploitation, they are groomed, manipulated and coerced through the process by someone they believe is trustworthy. Either family members or introduced by friends there is a level of trust in who that person is. The person gets them to believe that no one cares for them like they will, or uses threats that the minor finds viable.
The hardest part of the job is when “I am not able to help all of the people out there in need of our services. Sometimes, they are not ready or able to identify with what is happening to them, or they feel as if they are not worthy of help or cared for by anyone. We are not always able to reach everyone out there that needs our help,” Krissy says.
Krissy continues with the best part of the job, “getting the genuine thank you, when participants are on the road to healing and finding their path and succeeding in goals. When they say thank you; and understand that they are healing and find the worth in themselves. They see that they are someone important.”
“Krissy will always go out of her way to provide services to our CSEC participants. She is dedicated to the youth and always puts aside her own personal needs to make sure that she is meeting the needs of the clients. She has a way to connect with the youth, engage with them and makes them feel as someone that matters,” says Isabel Rios, Supportive Services Manager.
An example of Krissy’s dedication and effort was when one of her participants was struggling with Krissy as a case worker. The participants did not identify with the “CSEC Label” and therefore fought Krissy every inch of the way. “No matter what she said or how she treated me, I came back, and I showed her the compassion and care that she deserved,” Krissy says. Eventually the participant began to trust Krissy and later told her how much she appreciated Krissy for not giving up on her, and how lucky she felt to have someone like Krissy to support her.
Krissy’s advice to anyone struggling is, "Don’t give up on yourself! Help isn’t always in plain sight, but if you keep looking you will find it. Whatever is happening will not last forever, things will change, don’t give up!"
But Krissy is not ALL work! Krissy has a family, and every Friday is movie night at her house. At 7:00 pm Krissy and her kids go to the corner store and stock up on junk food. By 8:00 pm it’s lights off and movie on! “It’s my favorite time,” Krissy says.
WCYFS is proud to have Krissy part of the WCYFS family!
As this new year quickly unfolds, the month of April brings into focus a form of violence that continues to rip apart the lives of children, individuals, and families across the world: sexual assault. Many people find this topic uncomfortable to talk about, but it is within this silence that allows this pervasive issue to continue wreaking havoc in our homes and communities. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) provides an opportunity to educate our communities on this epidemic and invite them to play an active role in the ongoing prevention efforts to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe.
To start, it is important to align on a collective definition of sexual violence. Overall, sexual violence is defined as any sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim. This includes, but is not limited to, rape and attempted rape, unwanted touching or fondling, sexual exploitation, and forcing someone to perform or engage in sexual acts. Most often, these crimes are committed by someone known to the victim (a friend, partner, family member, neighbor, acquaintance, etc.), with only 7% committed by strangers.
Just how pervasive is this issue? According to RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds. That equates to over 430,000 American children and adults experiencing this victimization every year. It is important to note that sexual assault remains the most underreported of all violent crimes. Therefore, it is likely that the actual number of victims each year is much higher. These statistics are overwhelming and enraging, leaving us with questions.
Who is this happening to?
Sexual violence is boundless and does not discriminate. It occurs in every community and affects all ages, genders, and races. It happens across all socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. Women and girls are disproportionately affected; however, it is important to acknowledge that men and boys are even less likely to report they have been victimized, primarily due to social stigmas and self-blame. Additionally, women and girls of color experience sexual violence at even higher rates.
How is this happening at such alarming rates?
Unfortunately, social norms and attitudes are the primary reasons this remains such a widespread, ongoing problem. Social norms that condone violence, objectify women and children, safeguard systems of racial and gender inequity, and perpetuate an environment of silence around these forms of abuse and violence contribute to its prevalence. Victim-blaming attitudes further exacerbate these crimes, resulting in victims feeling responsible for what has happened to them and further retreating from seeking help.
What can we do about it?
Stop placing blame on victims. Victims are never to blame and are not responsible for these crimes; perpetrators of sexual violence choose to violate others. Victims should be believed and supported.
Hold abusers and rapists accountable. When perpetrators aren’t held accountable, these crimes are perpetuated, ultimately resulting in victims feeling unheard, unsupported, and unvalued, and communities and families feeling unsafe.
Join us and advocate for change. Educate yourself, your family, and your community. Challenge social norms and attitudes that perpetuate sexual violence. Hold your communities accountable.
What does WCYFS do?
It is our goal to not only help individuals and families heal from this tragic violence, but also to educate the individuals and families in our community to prevent this type of violence from happening in the future.
If you are a survivor of sexual violence, please know that you are not alone; we are here to help. We provide free and confidential crisis and supportive services for individuals and families affected by sexual violence. You can always contact us for information and support on our Sexual Assault 24-Hour Helpline at (209) 465-4997.
If you want to learn more about sexual violence and how to prevent it in our families and communities, please contact us for more information: or (209) 941-2611.
The Healthy Relationships Group (HRG) is a fun, interactive educational program designed for school-aged youth (12 – 20 years of age). HRG focuses on helping youth navigate complicated social issues, such as:
- Personal Relationships
- Peer and Dating Violence
- Substance Use
- Other High-Risk Behaviors
HRG operates from the view of the “youth’s voice,” emphasizing the importance of non-controlling, healthy communication practices with peers, friends, and dating partners. The highly interactive sessions provide an opportunity for youth to practice how to respond to difficult social situations they encounter every day.
This 14-week program consists of fourteen 1-hour sessions featuring skill-based activities that assist youth in making responsible choices and reducing harmful behaviors.
To register for this group, or if you would like more information:
Call or Text at 209.684.1458
Email us at
Spread the word! Download the HRG Flyer
Share it with family, friends and co-workers to help us reach the youth that can benefit from it.
YOU are not alone. We are here to help.
Speak with someone today! Call our Youth 24-Hour Helpline at (209) 948-1911.