A Program of the Rape Treatment Center
Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
Stuart House is an internationally recognized, model program created by The Rape Foundation and others to serve the special needs of sexually abused children and their families. Stuart House is an exemplary public/private partnership and a unique, interagency program.
About one out of every four girls and one out of every eight boys are sexually abused before they reach eighteen years of age. In most communities across the country, sexually abused children who seek help are usually taken to six different agencies and subjected to as many as a dozen repetitive interviews in cold, institutional settings, such as police departments and criminal court buildings. These experiences can be intimidating and frightening to a traumatized child. Moreover, few receive expert medical care, forensic examinations, or needed therapy services. Many parents feel their children are further harmed by the very systems that are supposed to help them.
Stuart House was created to remedy these problems. It brings together, in a “one-stop,” child-friendly facility, services of the Rape Treatment Center, law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Specially trained personnel from these agencies are co-located at Stuart House and work as a multidisciplinary team to investigate cases and ensure that children are not re-victimized by the system. Children are seen immediately and have access to comprehensive treatment, including 24-hour emergency medical care, expert forensic/evidentiary examinations, advocacy, crisis intervention, and long-term therapy services that child victims need to recover from the traumatic effects of sexual abuse. A child interview specialist conducts forensic interviews and trained advocates provide Court School and court accompaniment for children who testify in criminal proceedings. All of these services are free to the children and families that are served.
Stuart House is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance.
There is an immediate need for Stuart House to serve more children who cannot now be served due to the space limitations of the current facility.