MOSAIC GEORGIA FAQs
What does Mosaic Georgia do?
Formerly known as Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center and Children’s Advocacy Center, Mosaic Georgia is the only known free-standing sexual assault and children’s advocacy center to provide comprehensive forensic medical and interview services, advocacy support, legal assistance, and psychosocial support under one roof.
We provide free, confidential support and services to victims and survivors of rape, sexual assault, and child sexual molestation and abuse.
We provide sexual assault forensic medical exams and interviews, legal services, information about the criminal justice system, information about victim’s rights and referrals for other services like counseling. Support to children and their non-offending caregivers are offered with care.
Is Mosaic Georgia a new organization?
Our name is new but we began services more than 30 years ago. Community volunteers worked for two years to launch Gwinnett Rape Crisis in 1987 as a not-for-profit to offer 24-hour “on call” support services to rape victims who presented in the local hospital. By July, 1993, we began providing forensic medical care in our center — a quieter, more comfortable environment than the hospital emergency department. We changed our name to Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center in 1997 to reflect the broader sexual harms we treat.
By 2001, work with allied partners began to create a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach to respond to child sexual molestation and abuse in Gwinnett County. In 2003, we became a Children’s Advocacy Center with comprehensive services outside the hospital setting.
Today, we serve children, adolescents, and adults who experienced sexual harm who come from many places across Georgia. There is no charge or co-pay for our services.
Who do we serve?
We work with survivors of all genders regardless of when the violence occurred and whether they choose to report.
Call Mosaic Georgia’s 24-hour toll-free crisis line: 866-900-6019.
Is there a fee or cost for services administered?
No. Our services are provided at no cost to clients and we are focused on ensuring all persons are treated with respect and dignity in a safe, caring environment.
What services are offered to victims of child sexual abuse or sexual assault?
As a Children’s Advocacy Center and Sexual Assault Center, our direct services include:
- 24/7 crisis line
- medical exams with evidence collection for children, adolescents and adults
- allied professional collaboration
- crisis intervention services
- child/ adolescent forensic-interviews
- personal/ family advocacy; medical advocacy
- legal assistance for victims
- access to licensed psycho-educational therapeutic support groups
What types of services do we offer to the community?
For the community, services include:
- Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) coordination;
- Sexual Harm Prevention outreach and education;
- Student awareness and prevention of sexualized violence;
- Georgia SANE/ SAFE education and training programs; law enforcement training;
- Latin and Asian advocacy with outreach.
What type of support is offered through the 24-HOUR CRISIS LINE?
Confidential crisis intervention, support, information and referrals 24 hours per day, 365 days each year. This 24-hour line is also accessible to assist law enforcement and other professionals in need of services and information.
What are signs of possible child sexual abuse?
- Sleep disturbances (such as nightmares, fear of the dark or trouble sleeping)
- Excessive or compulsive masturbation
- Fear or dislike of certain people or places
- Extreme changes in behavior
- Regression to infantile behavior (such as bedwetting or thumb sucking)
- Detachment from others, depression or withdrawal
- Age inappropriate interest in sexual matters, such as simulating sex with dolls or asking other children to behave sexually (What is age appropriate sexual development?)
- Sudden mood swings (such as rage, fear, anger or withdrawal)
- Abdominal pain or unexplained stomach illness
- Loss of appetite or trouble eating or swallowing
- Unexplained bruises, pain, bleeding or redness on the child’s genitals or anus
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Frequent vaginal infections or irritations
- Difficulty with bowel movements or urination
If you have any questions about these signs, please contact Mosaic Georgia at 866-900-6019 to speak with a trained advocate.
If you know a child or have a suspicion that a child has been victimized by child sexual abuse, call your local law enforcement agency at 911 or local child protective services (in Gwinnett County, Georgia – Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children’s Services at 678-518-5500).
How can I protect my child?
When we become parents, we see the world through the eyes of a protector. While we can’t control the rest of the world, we can focus on developing open communication and trust with our children.
Children are exposed to much more visual stimulation and information at earlier ages through access to tablets, smart phones, computers, and video games. Even if your child has limited access to media, others may be exposed to explicit images including pornography.
- Educate yourself. Know the warning signs for child sexual abuse.
- Speak up if you notice behavioral signals that an adult or older child may exhibit problematic sexual behavior.
- Trust your instincts. Gut feelings are easy to ignore, but if something doesn’t feel right, don’t put your child at risk.
- Be comfortable talking with your child using proper anatomy terms like penis, breast, labia, and vagina. It is easier for children to talk about an inappropriate and uncomfortable situation.
- Teach your child to feel good about themselves just as they are.
- Avoid secrets. Teach your child that no one should tell them to keep a secret. Secrets about touching are not okay. Let them know that even if someone says that telling a secret will get your child or parent in trouble or hurt, your child should tell you.
- Teach your child the difference between “Ok” touch and “Not ok” touch. They have the right to say “no.”
- Teach your child that their “No” will be respected. If a child is uncomfortable with a relative’s kiss or hug, let them shake hands instead.
- Build trust. Make sure your child knows that they can rely on you to believe them and protect them.
- Develop a plan. Make sure your child knows what to do and who to talk to if they are sexually touched or threatened. Who are trusted adults they can talk to? Know how to report the abuse – call 911 for local law enforcement.
FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAM FAQs
What’s a “rape kit”?
Also known as a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit, this term refers to evidence that is collected by a Sexual Assault Nurse/Forensic Examiner (SANE or SAFE) to assist with investigation of a sex crime.
Why would I need a Forensic Medical Exam?
Just like you would go to a specialist for a broken bone or other injury, a medical specialist in sexual abuse or assault is best suited to assess and treat the patient who experienced sexual harm.
The forensic medical exam includes standard health assessment PLUS documentation of injuries and collection of evidence for a criminal investigation. The evidence must be collected and packaged in compliance with protocols established with law enforcement. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner who performed the exam and collected evidence must be available to the prosecutor as the case is prosecuted.
Why go to Mosaic Georgia instead of a hospital?
When a patient comes to Mosaic Georgia after a sexual assault, a specially trained nurse examiner will explain the forensic medical exam process, why some personal questions are asked and how evidence may be collected. S/he will ask questions about basic health history followed by questions about how and where the person touched your body. Services may include documentation of assault-related injury and evidence collection not provided by other local general healthcare providers. Exams are completed by specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and evidence is maintained in compliance with law enforcement protocols. Prophylactic medication for commonly acquired sexually transmitted infections and medication to prevent pregnancy are available.
FORENSIC INTERVIEW FAQs
What is a forensic interview?
A forensic interview is a structured conversation with a child intended to elicit detailed information about a possible event(s) that a child may have experienced or witnessed.
What is the purpose of a forensic interview?
The purposes of a forensic interview are:
- To obtain information from a child that may be helpful in a criminal investigation;
- To assess the safety of the child;
- To obtain information for DFCS and/or Law Enforcement that will either corroborate or refute allegations or suspicions of abuse and neglect;
- To assess the need for medical treatment and psychological care.
Who can request a forensic interview?
Forensic Interviews are only conducted at the request of law enforcement, DFCS, and/or the District Attorney’s office.
Who conducts the forensic interview?
Forensic Interviews are conducted by trained Forensic Interviewers who have completed at least 40 hours of specialized training on how to interview children. Our trained Forensic Interviewers also participate in monthly national and state peer review meetings to continually develop their skills.
What happens after the forensic interview?
After an interview is conducted, DFCS and/or law enforcement will inform you of the next steps in the investigation process.
What do I tell my child?
It is important to let your child know that they are coming to Mosaic Georgia to talk to a person that talks to a lot of children about different things. Reassure them that they are not in any trouble and that you are giving them permission to speak to someone freely.
LEGAL SERVICES FAQs
What legal services are available?
Attorneys assist victims and their families with civil legal issues resulting from the sexual assault or violence. Issues may include safety, housing, employment, financial, health, or education.
When someone harms you or your loved one with sexual abusing or assault, life as you know it changes. We know that in most cases (80%), the perpetrator is someone you know and trusted. That makes everything more complicated.
Legal assistance on civil issues related to sexual abuse or assault may be available if you are:
- Worried about your physical safety
- Concerned about your children’s safety
- Unsure whether to make a police report
- Anxious about your privacy
- Worried about where you will live
- Nervous about your job or school
- Concerned how your immigration status affects your report
- Confused about the difference between the criminal and civil justice systems
We assist with safety concerns (Temporary Protective Orders and hearings), child custody and visitation issues, service options available for reporting and non-reporting victims of sex crimes, your housing rights, your employment rights, student rights, and civil rights and risks regarding immigration status.
Mosaic Georgia may not provide legal representation in tort (personal injury) cases, child sexual abuse cases, cases involving the child protection system, victim services employee cases and criminal defense of victims charged with crimes.
GETTING INVOLVED FAQs
How can I volunteer?
You can volunteer with Mosaic Georgia in several capacities:
- Volunteer Advocate– provide direct support to clients of Mosaic Georgia within the center and via our 24 hour crisis line. Click here to learn more.
- Administrative Volunteer– perform administrative tasks while greeting clients and visitors of the center. Click here to learn more.
- Guardian– represent Mosaic Georgia and help raise awareness during community festivals, events, and special campaigns. Click here to learn more.
How can I donate to Mosaic Georgia?
You can donate to Mosaic Georgia using our donation page. It is secure and easy to use! If you prefer to send in a check donation, you can send it to Mosaic Georgia at P.O. Box 1329 Duluth, GA 30096