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Dallas Hospital Building Unit For Sexual Assault Victims

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CBS DFW (con't)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas woman who was brutally raped inside her home is eager to help other North Texas victims who end up in the emergency room.

“I’m on this journey,” Victoria, who asked that her last name not be used, said. “I’m on the right road to recovery.”

She’s signed on to help at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas’s future project: A 3,000 square foot unit that will have space dedicated for the examination and protection of sexual assault victims.

It will be called The W.W. Caruth Center for Safe Healing and will include three “safe suites” for victims and their loved ones, two exam rooms, restrooms with showers, a training room for staff members and a secure evidence room.

“We want our victims to feel safe once they come back here,” said Tammy Pruitt, one of the nurses who will work in the center.

The project is funded by a $2 million grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation Communities Foundation of Texas.

“I think it’s an excellent idea and I’m sure my father would have liked it, too,” said Bill Caruth, the son of W.W. Caruth.

The nurses who work in the center have specialized training called S.A.N.E, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

They stay with the victim, recover evidence on the body and clothing and us a “rape kit” that helps nurses organize hair, blood, tissue and other materials, which could be used during a criminal trial.

“I think the sensitivity that these specialists have will make a major outcome in the victims’ recovery” says Minnie Caruth, wife of Bill Caruth and an advocate for crime victims.

Victoria went to another hospital after she was raped and says she was not treated with sensitivity by doctor who examined her.

“I was in shock but I was not crying,” said Victoria, who has offered her services to the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Center for Safe Healing. She hopes to offer her perspective and help other victims of sexual assault.

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