Violence intervention program gets new home at hospital
Los Angeles County celebrated the grand opening Thursday of the home for the Violence Intervention Program, which treats victims of violence and abuse on the campus of the L.A. County/USC Medical Center.
The program provides medical, forensic, mental health and social services to victims of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse.
The newly renovated building brings together all of the services in one location and has more exam rooms and waiting room space. There are medical exam rooms, as well as offices for law enforcement personnel and staff from the Department of Children and Family Services.
There is also a day care center, which Violence Intervention Program director Astrid Heger said she would like to use to keep youths for up to 23 hours while social workers find them help.
The building, which displays paintings from local artists, is much different than the small office at the hospital where the program started, Heger said. She said her goal was to have a place where patients, many of them children, could feel comfortable and respected while they get the treatment they need.
"They deserve to have a place where they feel safe," she said.
-- Anna Gorman
Photo: Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times