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Lotus, CASA partner on mobile unit to help with child abuse investigations

Staff members with Lotus Sexual Assault Center gave tours of the Hope Heal Grow mobile unit to CASA staff members.
Hawkins Teague
Murray Ledger & Times
Staff members with Lotus Sexual Assault Center gave tours of the Hope Heal Grow mobile unit to CASA staff members.

A pair of western Kentucky nonprofits are partnering to provide more support for children of abuse.

Lotus – Kentucky’s regional advocacy and sexual assault center – is providing a mobile unit to help children of abuse through a partnership with CASA by the Lakes in Murray, which gives children in the Calloway and Marshall legal systems Court Appointed Special Advocates.

The mobile unit will provide children who have been abused and their families support by offering medical exams and investigations. It will also allow families who don’t have transportation to access the same services Lotus provides at their Paducah headquarters and increase community outreach for both nonprofits.

Donations to Lotus will go toward maintaining the mobile unit, which will be able to provide services in all eight Purchase Area counties in far western Kentucky.

Lotus unveiled the “Hope Heal Grow” mobile unit in Murray last week, with staff members giving tours of unit to educate the public and Lotus’ partners about its capabilities.

CASA leadership say their partnership with Lotus gives area children the best services they need to recover.

“It's a great resource,” CASA by the Lakes director Jessica Foust said. “It can reach families that don’t have transportation or families that live far out. A lot of the families that we work with fall below that poverty level so they cannot drive to Paducah or even to a hospital to have a forensic exam.”

Lotus community relations director Caroline Neal said the mobile unit will serve as a child-friendly environment for specialized medical examinations, family and legal advocacy, mental health services and resources on victims rights. It will also be crucially available for forensic interviews, which she said can increase a child’s likelihood of healing.

“A forensic interview is an opportunity for a child to share what they have experienced in a safe and trauma-informed way,” Neal said. “It’s an important piece of child abuse investigation.”

Mason Galemore is a Murray State student studying journalism. He was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. Since then has explored different publication avenues such as broadcasting. He hopes to travel as a journalist documenting conflict zones and different cultures. He remembers watching the Arab Spring in 2011 via the news when he was a kid, which dawned in a new age of journalism grounded in social media. His favorite hobbies are hiking, photography, reading, writing and playing with his Australian Shepard, Izzy. He is originally from Charleston, Missouri.
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