On Dec. 1, Commissioner Jess Santamaria and state Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, along with staffers from Palm Beach County Victim Services, local legislators, and officials from Wellington Regional Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the Butterfly House, the county’s first comprehensive sexual assault response care center.
The new facility, located on the west side of the Wellington Regional Medical Center campus, 10101 W. Forest Hill Blvd., will enhance the evidence collection process by providing coordinated crisis response and improved medical and mental health treatment for rape victims.
“We will raise awareness, we will hold the offenders accountable, and we will do everything we must do to help the victims of these terrible injustices,” said Sen. Benacquisto, who led the drive to secure state funding for the project.
“This is a long, long overdue program that is very much needed,” said Commissioner Santamaria as he presented a proclamation thanking the senator.
Nicole Bishop, director of Palm Beach County Justice Services and Victim Services, said having a centralized, dedicated response care center will lead to more arrests and successful prosecutions with a victim-centered approach. Ideally, she said, more victims will come forward knowing they have a safe haven.
“It is phenomenally important,” Bishop said. “It’s really going to help a lot of victims.”
Palm Beach County Victim Services will run the Butterfly House in conjunction with Wellington Regional Medical Center. Funding was provided by Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Health.
— article courtesy of the Palm Beach County Count-E-Line (link to original article)