About Us

Before the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center existed, the system was doing more to harm, not help, child abuse victims. A child would have to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, to doctors, cops, lawyers, therapists, investigators, judges, and others. They would have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station, where they thought they might be in trouble or might be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.

Dr. Botash in hallway looking over documentsThe MRCAC was founded in 1998 by members of the Child Abuse Management Team led by Martha Ryan and Dr. Ann Botash, who recognized that the creation of a facility that focused on child abuse issues was a critical need in the community. Since opening its doors, our team of professionals in treating child sexual and physical abuse have helped over 6,000 children.

By 2010, the agency’s 3,000-square-foot location at 509 W. Onondaga Street that was donated by McMahon and Ryan family members lacked the space to effectively coordinate the services all these children and their families needed. The MRCAC took bold steps to launch a capital campaign to relocate the agency to the former Reid Hall, a 30,000-square-foot building. In June 2011, the agency moved and co-located with partnering agencies featuring more than 60 professionals engaged in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse.


Martha Ryan speaking to a group of people at the advocacy centerOur streamlined approach partners law enforcement, children and family services, social workers, medical professionals, victim advocates, prosecutors, therapists and volunteers under one roof – and preserves the best evidence for investigators. Whenever possible, children tell their story only once to a highly-trained forensic interviewer who knows the right questions to ask in a way that does not re-traumatize the child. The child connects to a victim advocate, gets one medical exam, and meets with a therapist. Team members work together to provide the child and family the support services they need – all the way through trial and beyond.

Our vision is a community where all children are free from abuse and exploitation and the community understands the impact of abuse and actively protects our children.

Our mission is dedicated to ending child abuse in our community through prevention, intervention, and education by facilitating a coordinated multidisciplinary team approach to meet the needs of children and families.