Visiting a center can create a lot of anxiety about the known and unknown. Here at Gordon CAC/SAC, we hope to create an environment that is positive, friendly, and reduces the trauma associated with the experiences of our clients. If you are an adult patient or the caregiver of a child coming to the center, we recommend exploring the forensic interview and medical exam pages. If you have any lingering questions, you can contact our coordinators with the links below.
On Your Visit
You will arrive to the center nervous-- and that's okay!
Our friendly, caring staff will be here to greet you as you enter.
You'll wait in our lobby until the interviewer comes to get you. We have toys, a television, and snacks available.
We will take our time making sure you feel comfortable and safe before the interviewer gets to tough questions.
And our experienced nurse will be here if you have any questions about your body or need a check up.
We are also here to help you find somebody you feel safe talking to.
What to Expect
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I tell my child about coming to the center?
If your child comes to the center, it can be helpful to give them a sense of what to expect. A balance of child-friendly information can reduce potential nerves and anxieties.
If your child has a scheduled Forensic Interview:
"Tomorrow we will visit the Child Advocacy Center. It's a place where really nice people work to keep kids safe and healthy. You will get to hang out in a playroom with toys, then talk to a special grownup."
If your child has a scheduled Medical Exam:
"After your talk is finished, a nurse will help check your body to make sure everything's okay and to answer any questions you might want to ask her. Then we will be all done."
May I sit in or watch my child's forensic interview?
No. Only professionals directly related with your child's case will view the forensic interview, and/or judicial personnel should a trial take place later. This maintains a truly child-safe element of privacy in the interview room, often resulting in less stress or strain on the child.
Additionally, parental/guardian presence can influence the way a child does or does not disclose--so having the interview conducted privately is a standard, research-based protocol. The interview is recorded to reduce the number of times your child may be asked about what happened; the interview is considered evidence in a potential criminal case and is tightly protected by law. A strict chain-of-custody policy is in place so that the interview can only be shared with professionals involved in the case.
Can there be a support person during the medical exam?
All minors and adults are given the choice of a support person. We recommend against it, because it can inhibit patients from asking the nurse sensitive health questions. It can also upset patients if a caregiver or friend is unable to manage their emotions during the exam. However, the patient's choices will be honored.
Do I have to pay for an exam?
By law, forensic medical exams are free. At the GC CAC/SAC we also provide pertinent medical testing and treatment free of charge. In the event we cannot test or treat a patient, we will make appropriate referrals.
If I choose not to report, can I still have an exam?
Yes! Adults have the right to seek evidence collection and medical care without reporting to law enforcement. We will maintain the chain-of-custody of evidence indefinitely, but law enforcement will accept it up to a year.
Can I request a forensic interview or medical exam?
Forensic interviews are part of an investigation. In order to receive a FI, a report first needs to be made with law enforcement. All clients that come to the CAC/SAC will have the opportunity to request a medical exam.