We created a model facility for children who are suspected victims of sexual abuse...
Stuart House, an innovative facility established by the RTC, remedies many of the problems in the traditional system that often revictimize these profoundly traumatized children, such as multiple, repetitive interviews in cold, institutional settings; low prosecution rates; and critical shortages in expert medical care and therapy services. The following stories illustrate some of these problems:
John, a seven-year-old boy was sodomized on multiple occasions by a neighbor. After the doctor discovered his victimization, John was interviewed by more than a dozen different professionals representing six different agencies. Eight months later, the case still had not been filed for prosecution.
Mary, a four-year-old girl, was sexually assaulted by a man who was an acquaintance of her family. She was given three different pelvic examinations at various medical facilities because of a lack of coordination among agencies and the unavailability of properly trained physicians.
Stuart House was created to solve these problems by looking at the system through a child's eyes. Stuart House brings together -- in one location -- police, prosecutors, and child protection personnel from various agencies who work together as a team in a special environment designed for children. The close collaboration among agencies eliminates unnecessary interviews of traumatized children, ensures that crucial services are provided, and enhances evidence collection and prosecutions. Stuart House also has a comprehensive treatment program that provides individual, family, and group therapy services for child victims and their families, as well as a Court School for children who testify in criminal proceedings. Stuart House has received international recognition as a model program. It is one of the most comprehensive facilities of its kind in the country.