When victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking arrive at local hospitals or utilize other medical services, Safe Berks staff are there to help. Three full-time staff members – Medical Advocacy Partnership Program (MAPP) Advocates – provide direct, compassionate services to victims, and help connect them to Safe Berks and other local resources. They also deliver training to hospital and medical staff on topics related to domestic violence and sexual assault.
The three Safe Berks MAPP Advocates and their locations are, shown in photo from left: Letty Vazquez-Pena, Penn State Health St. Joseph; Mayra Morales, Berks Community Health Center; and Macy Lengle, Tower Health/Reading Hospital. In addition, Safe Berks advocates are available to respond in person to victims at local hospitals 24 hours a day via our hotline 844-789-SAFE, or text SAFE BERKS to 20121.
This program is guided by the Healthcare Advisory Committee, a group of professionals who meet regularly to discuss systems collaboration and how to shift the culture in the healthcare field to recognize domestic violence and sexual assault as a healthcare issue. One of the goals of the Healthcare Advisory Committee is to identify a universal screening tool that will help identify victims, so immediate access to Safe Berks information, advocacy, safety planning, shelter, and additional services can be offered. The Committee is also working on creating a standard response to victims, so that the same services, guided by best practices, will be offered by medical facilities throughout Berks County. For more information, contact Beth Garrigan at 610-370-7608 or [email protected].