Forensic Health Services

Golden Door has joined with the local government of Escondido, California, to keep the doors open at Forensic Health Services, which helps victims of child abuse and sexual assault. The Golden Door Foundation made a $75,000 unrestricted contribution to support the vital work of Forensic Health Services on the campus of the Palomar Health Center in Escondido. Forensic Health Services is the critical first step for child victims of abuse or molestation, as well as adult victims of sexual assault, to help law enforcement gather evidence for criminal prosecution.

It is our privilege to support the work of Forensic Health Services, said Kathy Van Ness, general manager and chief operating officer of Golden Door. The center provides a critical service to children and adults who need every opportunity for physical, mental and emotional health support from our community.

North County law enforcement officials bring victims to the center, where trained staff is available around the clock to provide medical services. Forensic Health Services works closely with local investigative and prosecutorial agencies to provide complete state-of-the-art assessments that may be used in court later.

From December 31, 2013, to December 31, 2014, Forensic Health Services treated 912 victims, according to the Palomar Health Foundation. Of those treated, 173 were sexual assault exams of victims age 14 and older; 301 were forensic interviews of children age 3 and older; and 438 were foster child health assessments from birth on.

The caring staff of Forensic Health Services are experts who help victims through the profound trauma of sexual abuse and violence with great sensitivity, said Van Ness. We cannot eliminate the scars of abuse, but we can help the people who can help them heal faster.

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