MONTICELLO — Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in White County will now be able to receive treatment and care closer to home.
The Center of Hope, a program based at Indiana University Health Arnett in Lafayette, now offers victims of sexual and physical abuse a safe space to receive care at IU Health White Memorial Hospital, ensuring patients have close-to-home access to high quality forensic nurses, specialized equipment and compassionate, private care.
The program has also been extended to residents serviced by IU Health’s Frankfort Hospital.
“We want victims to know that they are not alone. Even if they do not wish to report the assault to law enforcement, we can help,” stated Megan Shupe, registered nurse at IU Health Arnett Center of Hope. “Victims deserve care and attention from a special group of professionals who are ready to help in their time of need.”
Patient care begins with a medical legal examination that includes an interview where the patient recalls as much detail as possible from the incident and the perpetrator. The interview is followed by a thorough exam that includes body mapping and swabbing, identifying lacerations, bruises and areas that may provide forensic evidence — such as particles of skin from beneath the fingernails, a possible sign of the victim scratching the perpetrator during defense. A special camera is used to photograph the victim’s injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four women and one in nine men have been a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime.
One in three women and one in six men have been a victim of sexual violence in their lifetime. One in four children have been the victim of abuse or neglect.
The Centers of Hope across the West Central Region will provide highly skilled and trained forensic nurses on-call 24/7 to assist patients of abuse.
The new locations will also eliminate the need to transfer patients, allowing them to receive the specialized care without the additional trauma of being transferred to other facilities, hospital officials said.
The Centers of Hope are located within the Emergency Department at IU Health Arnett, IU Health Frankfort and IU Health White.
For urgent needs, call 911 or 765-838-5100.