New Stuart House opens in Santa Monica
UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica welcomed a beautiful addition to its Santa Monica campus with the opening of the new Stuart House, a gift made possible through a unique partnership between the University of California Regents, UCLA Health and The Rape Foundation.
Stuart House, established in 1988 by the hospital’s Rape Treatment Center, is recognized internationally as a model program for treatment of sexually abused children and their families. The child-friendly facility, which houses a multi-agency team of police, prosecutors, expert child forensic interviewers and child-protection personnel, works to immediately respond to reports of child sexual abuse, expedite criminal investigations and implement timely protective actions.
Stuart House also provides free, state-of-the-art treatment, including 24-hour emergency medical care and evidentiary examinations, as well as advocacy and child-family therapy services.
The new, larger facility will expand its capacity to serve more child victims in the community, as well as provide space for innovative programs such as a training center for first responders in child-abuse cases.
Additional features include a mock courtroom, where child victims can attend “court school” before they testify in criminal proceedings, and special rooms for group, play and art therapy.
“Stuart House helps solve serious problems in the child-protection system that often re-victimize sexually abused children,” explains Gail Abarbanel, founding director of the Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House.