Hope Heal Grow Unit comes to Marshall County
May 5, 2022
Lotus has recently introduced their Hope Heal Grow Unit, a mobile children’s advocacy center to help victims of abuse and sexual violence. Caroline Neal, communications and development director with Lotus, is excited by the unit and said it’s opening the door, “ to further innovate outreach and meet survivors, children, and families where they are, in whatever community they reside in.”
Lotus is this region’s child advocacy and sexual violence resource center, and serves all eight counties in the Jackson Purchase area. They are committed to ending child abuse and sexual violence, with a mission to support survivors, strengthen families, and empower communities. Lotus helps children, women, and families of all ages, and all services are provided free of charge. They have physical offices in Murray and Paducah, but with the inclusion of their new mobile unit they are excited to be able to expand their outreach.
They brought the unit to Marshall County on April 21, where it was toured by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. The Hope Heal Grow Unit is the first of its kind in Kentucky, and Lotus worked together with law enforcement, prosecutors, medical staff, and DCBS to identify the needs of the mobile.
Lotus received 75% of their funding for this project from the Kentucky Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), along with contributions from Karmak funding, the Ray and Kay Eckstein charitable trust, and the Charity League of Paducah.
Through this program, Lotus is able to offer specialized medical exams for child victims who have experienced abuse, family and legal advocacy services to partner with caregivers and parents to identify needs, mental health services, along with education and resources on victims rights and compensation, all in a child-friendly environment.
Kentucky continues to rank among the states with the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the nation. This year alone, over 4,000 children in Kentucky’s Purchase Area will be named as alleged victims and more than 1,200 will be confirmed victims of abuse according to Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Unfortunately, many children and families impacted by abuse and neglect face additional barriers to services: lack of transportation, geographic isolation, inability to take time off of work, cultural and social norms, and victim-offender relationships.
The hope of Lotus, through the Hope Heal Grow Unit, is to help eliminate some of these obstacles and help victims in their path to healing.