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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.

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