Each year the Providence Health & Services Board of Directors confers the Mission Leadership Award to a program or project that demonstrates "extraordinary community-focused services that exemplify the mission." In March 2013, Providence announced one of two winners for this year as the Sexual Assault Clinic serving Southwest Washington.
Last year, Providence provided more than $700,000 in subsidized services to help protect vulnerable members of our community and invest in a healthier and safer future. The specially-trained staff of the Providence Sexual Assault Clinic is on call 24 hours a day to provide resources, intervention and medical assessment services to victims of sexual and physical abuse. The Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic also works closely with the Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center and the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Special Victim’s Team to promote comprehensive care to those who have been hurt by sexual violence.
No one likes to talk about sexual assault, but unfortunately, it is all too common in our community.
Thankfully, with the help of generous friends, Providence St. Peter Hospital is able to offer healing and hope to abuse victims through our Sexual Assault Clinic.
- A young woman is raped in her apartment parking lot. A friend brings her to the hospital’s Emergency Center, where the police are immediately called. A specially trained nurse from the Sexual Assault Clinic arrives to examine and comfort the woman. When she’s ready, the woman will be able to receive counseling referrals and follow-up medical care from the Clinic to help her move past this frightening experience.
- A ten-year-old girl tells her mother that her step-father has molested her. The mom calls Child Protective Services, who notifies law enforcement. During a medical evaluation at the Sexual Assault Clinic, the girl’s mother meets with a medical social worker for crisis support, information and mental health referrals so the child and her mother can begin the healing process.
Each year, the Sexual Assault Clinic of Providence St. Peter Hospital serves more than 350 patients and their families from Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. The Clinic also works with Indian Child Welfare (ICW) and our tribal communities.
Most of the patients seen at the Clinic are children. This is not surprising given the fact that 70 percent of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) involve children ages 17 and under.
Guided by the values of the Sisters of Providence, Providence St. Peter Hospital is committed to providing compassionate care to all ─ with a special concern for the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
Sexual abuse often results in loss of trust and feelings of shame, guilt or depression ─ if no one listens. Untreated, sexual abuse can lead to eating disorders, substance abuse, promiscuity and even suicide. Appropriate intervention and treatment can improve the long-term outcome for abuse victims. That’s why the Sexual Assault Clinic, which opened in 1991, is such a vital resource for our community.
The Clinic’s physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses provide special medical evaluations for children, adolescents and adults. Social workers provide crisis counseling for both the victims of sexual abuse and their families.
Sexual assault nurse examiners are on call to the Providence St. Peter Hospital Emergency Center 24 hours a day to provide comfort and care, and to collect forensic evidence for sexual abuse investigations. Our clinic physicians and advanced practice nurses often serve as expert witnesses when these cases go to criminal trials.