Avalon is rooted in Medical-forensic exams first and foremost. Exams are offered in a confidential and quiet environment by compassionate, trauma-informed medical staff at no cost to the patient. Forensic examiners work to ensure patients know their options and all information available to make the best decision for themselves.
Criteria for a medical-forensic exam for ages 18 and up includes the following:
- The sexual assault happened within the prior 120 hours.
- Survivor is able to consent to the exam. (or guardian is available to provide consent if applicable)
- Survivor wants to have the exam.
- Survivor is medically and psychologically stable.
POST-ASSAULT FOLLOW UP CARE CLINIC
Avalon Healing Center has identified a large problem in healthcare for sexual assault patients post-assault. In the aftermath and trauma of having been raped, there are numerous medical needs that are most often missed by the healthcare system as a whole, as well as by healthcare providers themselves, creating a large gap in the provision of medically indicated treatments and follow up for patients.
Several STI tests and treatments, along with other ongoing health issues resulting from an assault require multiple follow-up visits, so remaining in contact with patients is critical to assure ongoing healing. Paradoxically, the hours and days after an assault leave many patients in a state of trauma-induced dissociation, meaning that many instructions for follow-up care go largely unattended, as survivors do not have the capacity to absorb and process so much information. These barriers are further complicated by institutionalized racism and misogyny, or the way that racism and misogyny combine to oppress women of color. To further complicate matters, patients who survive such assaults seeking advocacy, support, and person-centered services are often unsure of whom to contact or how the judicial process works.
Patients need support and assistance in accessing medications and therapies to treat sexually transmitted infections, prevent pregnancy or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections, and re-evaluation of injuries sustained during an assault. Worryingly, victims of non-fatal strangulations can sustain life-threatening injuries that are often overlooked by emergency room staff and physicians who
lack training and do not recognize the signs. Several STI tests and treatments, along with other ongoing health issues resulting from an assault require multiple follow-up visits, so remaining in contact with patients is critical to assure ongoing healing.
Pharmacy: Avalon Healing Center will contain an on-site pharmacy for patients and clients to easily fill prescriptions all in one visit.
Clinics within Six Hospital Sites: Avalon Healing Center provides crisis intervention and medical-forensic services in its six hospital clinic sites in Metro Detroit.
PATIENT INTAKE WAITING AREA AND INTAKE SUITES
When a patient arrives at Avalon after a traumatizing sexual assault, oftentimes loved ones, including children accompany them. They too are facing a traumatic event and need a safe, embracing area to wait for their loved one. Amenities such as cafe, crackling fire, TV, comfortable seating and niches of respite are all available. Additionally, a feature wall in the waiting area will include an inspirational quote in a bronzey gold patina on pegs standing out from the wall. It is a powerful reminder that whether experienced alone or with a trusted friend we are all on a healing journey.
The primary component of the Patient Intake Area is the Patient Intake Suites. Patients needing an initial forensic exam will find that these suites are designed to embrace them in a safe environment. The intake process, forensic exam and dressing area are all in one suite. Once the patient enters the suite, all necessary processes are completed with no need to wait in cold waiting rooms or walk past strangers to additional locations. Moreover, a child care facility is available to reduce the understandable anxiety of parenting in a moment such as this. All of this dramatically reduces stress and the possibility of re-traumatizing.