Avalon Healing Center offering services for sexual assault survivors | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Survivors of sexual assault will soon have a new, first-of-its-kind resource right here in Detroit.

It’s called the Avalon Healing Center. It’s right in the heart of the city and it’s having its open house on Thursday. Today I learned how survivors see it as the answer to needs that were unmet in the past.

“We’re setting up for our open house tomorrow night from 2 to 7 pm. It’s free and open to the public.”

Katie Smith is the director of communication at the Avalon Healing Center. She’s showing me what the facility will make available to survivors of sexual assault.

“These are our medical suites. This is our medical clinic. This is where our survivors would come for medical follow-up care,” said Katie Smith from Avalon Healing Center.

In the past, survivors might be sent out for care, which could create barriers to their healing.

“This is where we have a lot of our individual counseling sessions with clients. What’s nice is we have the white noise machines which help keep out noise,” said Smith.

Katie tells me the Avalon Healing Center was formerly known as WC Safe. They started with 500 sq. ft. of space. Now they have 33,000 sq. ft. and have everything under one roof.

“Whether that’s getting the medical exam, having the follow-up medical care, joining one of our healing therapy groups, having individual counseling. There’s definitely different ways that you can work with Avalon and find that fit that’s best for you,” said Smith.

I also talked to Trinea Gonczar, Director of Engagement at the Avalon Healing Center and a survivor of Larry Nassar, a former sports medicine physician, and convicted sexual predator.

“I know what I didn’t get. And I know what I needed. I didn’t know then what I needed, but I know now,” said Trinea Gonczar, Director of Engagement, Nassar survivor.

She was instrumental in funneling support and resources to help make the Avalon Healing Center a reality.

“This was something that was planned in the strategic plan for 20 years from now. And the movement was happening right now. People were saying, ‘How can we help survivors?’ And so, the idea of the center became a reality,” said Gonczar.

I asked her how people can support survivors.

“You don’t have to do it solo. I feel like people get scared of having the right language or the right words or the right way to support somebody and then they don’t do anything because they don’t know how. And that don’t know what to say or how to do things. We offer that. And really, you don’t need to be the person. You can direct them to us. That’s why we exist,” said Gonczar.

She has a message for anyone thinking about getting care.

“We are free. We are comprehensive. So, we can support you in any possible way that you could need. And please lean on us. We are here,” said Gonczar.

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