Maui Sexual Assault Center Honored By State House
By Wendy Osher
The Maui Sexual Assault Center was honored by the state House of Representatives during a special floor presentation last week for the vital services they provide to victims of sex assault.
Representative Mele Carroll of Maui, who chairs the House Committee on Human Services, co-introduced House Resolution 218, which officially recognizes the Maui Sexual Assault Center and 10 other supporting agencies that comprise ‘The Hawaiʻi Coalition Against Sexual Assault.’
“Surviving sexual assault is traumatic enough, then to have to jump through hoops just to get services makes it even harder for victims to come forward,” said Representative Carroll in a press release.
“With this center having crisis hotlines for each island and ways to easily provide services it gives hope to the victims in my district. It gives me hope that the victims won’t be silenced and that they’ll come forward to report the abuse, get the services they need to recover from the emotional and physical pain they have suffered and obtain the justice they deserve,” she said.
According to Carroll, the Maui Child & Family Service agency has been providing critical sex assault support services to victims and their families through the Sex Assault Support Services Program since 2001.
In December 2013, Carroll said, the program underwent a name change to the Maui Sexual Assault Center to increase awareness of its services and bring attention to the issue.
She said services include initial disclosure and forensic interviews with detectives, forensic examination, ongoing clinical therapy, hotlines, crisis intervention, treatment services, in-service training, and prevention and education services.
Individuals seeking assistance can call The Maui Sex Assault Center 24-hour crisis hotlines throughout the county at the following direct numbers: Maui Island (808) 873-8624, Molokaʻi (808) 553-5522 and Lānaʻi 1-866-443-5702.
Nicole Hokoana, director of Maui County programs described the staff as highly trained and experienced. “We work closely with members of the criminal justice system to ensure that victims receive sensitive and timely support. We provide many options for crisis intervention and treatment. The Maui Sexual Assault Center is the PLACE victims and their families can come to.”
Representative Carroll also introduced House Bill 2034, that removes the statute of limitations for criminal and civil actions arising from sexual assault in the first, second degrees and/or continuous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14 years.