Tipton families harmed by child sexual abuse have to travel too far for specialized medical exams, according to Bethany Kirby, Director of the Tipton County Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center. To remove this impediment to fast, quality treatment United Way of the Mid-South is funding $7,500 worth of specialized medical equipment, training and continuing services.
This grant helps the children and their caregivers begin the process of rebuilding without having to take a trip to another community for medical exams.
“These exams are always performed in a sensitive, dignified manner. This grant will ensure there is easy access to the exam, minimize trauma and promote healing,” Kirby said.
The equipment includes a video colposcope with halogen illumination and camera, computer, printer, photo scanner, exam table and other items. This will assist the Tipton County Child Protective Investigation Team which includes District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement agencies and the Department of Children’s Services with timely and well-done exams. Such exams can lead to stronger cases in court since they can help document the sexual assault for prosecutors.
In 2009, the Tipton County Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center completed 155 forensic interviews with 59 child sexual assault exams. The Center saw 358 children abuse referrals from Tipton, Fayette and Lauderdale counties.
Bryce Haugsdahl, United Way President said “this is a very necessary request that helps children who are victims of sexual assaults. The presence of the equipment helps provide compassionate and prompt care while minimizing trauma. This helps the healing process begin and gives authorities evidence that a crime was committed. This is yet another way United Way shows support of all children’s issues.”
United Way contributed $7,500 in matching funds to be raised by the Tipton County Exchange Center. When the matching funds are raised, a total of over $14,900 will be available for equipment and training
“We value and appreciate everything United Way is doing for the center,” Kirby said. “Thanks to this special funding, we have an opportunity to improve our quality of care for these deserving children.”