Stuart House, a program of the Rape Treatment Center, is internationally recognized as a model for the treatment of sexually abused children. It was established in 1988 to remedy serious problems in the traditional child protection system and to enhance the treatment of child victims.
It takes extraordinary courage for sexually abused children to come forward. They merit extraordinary support.
– The Rape Foundation Board
Changing the System for Child Victims
In many communities, sexually abused children and their families who seek help often have to go to as many as six different agencies in separate locations. At each agency, the child is re-interviewed by another stranger. Many of these interviews are conducted in cold, institutional settings, such as police stations and hospitals ERs, by people who are not trained in “best practices” for interviewing children at different stages of development. These experiences can be intimidating to traumatized children and impede their disclosures. In addition, many child victims never receive expert medical care, forensic services or the skilled therapy and other support services they need to heal from the traumatic effects of sexual abuse.
The Stuart House Solution
Stuart House was created through an exemplary public/private partnership that makes it possible to co-locate in a child-friendly setting, an onsite, multi-agency child protection team (police detectives, prosecutors, DCFS workers, child advocates, and forensic interview specialists) to respond immediately to children who report sexual abuse and to expedite investigations and child protection actions. Stuart House also provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment services for child victims and their families to help them cope with the traumatic effects of sexual abuse and to prevent the well-documented, potentially long-term deleterious effects of untreated childhood victimization on children’s physical and psychological health and development. Stuart House fosters healing and resilience. In 2016, The Rape Foundation created a new, larger Stuart House facility at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center to expand its capacity to serve a larger number of child victims. All Stuart House services are free.
Stuart House is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance.