The trauma of sexual assault and all its forms is among us. It deserves our immediate attention and a strong and sensitive response. The pain and consequences of it unfold differently for each person. Ultimately. Trauma-Informed Design helps to ensure that the environment is a healing space and does not re-traumatize.



Fortunately, healing is among us. For years, Avalon has been exemplary in utilizing the principles of Trauma-Informed Care. Its new facility must mirror that in design. Trauma-Informed Design is the practice of integrating these principles in the design space. This helps to ensure that users of the space encounter a healing space aimed at not re-traumatizing survivors.



Avalon is pursuing an ambitious effort to radically change survivor outcomes by providing person-centered healing services in concert with survivors and partners. Avalon is intentionally weaving antiracist, gender-affirming practices and theories of change into all aspects of its service, and relies on its patients to inform and lead its services. While health care systems may provide treatment for injuries during an assault, institutional beliefs and practices are actively harming patients. Survivors’ ability to affect change among systems dovetails with their ability to access equitable health care and pursue justice through established systems. In order for survivors to disrupt and challenge the systems that contribute to their subjugation, Avalon will:

1) Provide expanded, high-quality follow-up services to sexual assault survivors after the initial medical-forensic exam, including injury re-evaluation, gender inclusive health services, and advocacy services;

2) Create a series of trainings for medical providers, law enforcement agencies, and other community groups to better understand the needs and challenges faced by survivors with a particular emphasis on the experiences of women of color, non-English speakers, and LGBTQ+ individuals in coordination with our Survivor Advisory Council;

3) Deliver these trainings across multiple regions and through various methods; and

4) Design and implement a participatory outcome and process evaluation plan that will confirm and validate both the healing and training components to assist with replication in other regions. Avalon anticipates these direct actions will augment and amplify racial justice across the courts and the health care systems, as well as lead to both systems’ increased accountability to survivors.