Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal will be in Albany Tuesday to visit the Lily Pad. The wife of Gov. Nathan Deal will be getting first-hand look at the facility that helps families and children through cases of sexual assault and abuse. (Special photo)
ALBANY — The Lily Pad, an Albany organization that provides services to victims of sexual assault and abuse, is getting a visit from the governor’s wife on Tuesday.
Missy Rouse with Lily Pad said that Sandra Deal, wife of Gov. Nathan Deal, will be at the facility at 5:30 p.m. to take a look at Lily Pad, which serves families and children of sexual assault and abuse.
“She’s coming to tour the building, to see how we’re running things,” Rouse said.
The high-profile visit is important to Lily Pad, which gets much of its operational funding from through the state. “We’re a non-profit organization and we get our funding through grants,” Rouse said.
Sandra Deal has been an advocate of the type of necessary work that organizations such as Lily Pad perform.
“She’s very passionate about volunteer work and children and families,” Rouse said. “She’s going to check our facility out.”
Some of the aspects of the program that Deal is likely to see include the new Artesian City Sertoma Club Forensic Exam Room that opened in September. The renovated space improves privacy for victims of sexual crimes in that it has its own outside entrances, which means victims don’t have to pass by others at the front desk.
Lily Pad has been regionally recognized for its delivery of comprehensive services to victims and families impacted by crimes of sexual assault and child sexual/physical abuse. Services provided, according to Lily Pad officials, include are developmentally appropriate and specialized to meet the distinctive needs of each individual impacted by crimes of sexual violence. There is no charge to victims that receive direct services from the Lily Pad.
The organization’s programs and services include, a 24-hour crisis line; 24-hour professional assistance and support for allied professionals; forensic interviews for alleged child victims of sexual/physical abuse and witnesses to violent crime; 24-hour forensic-medical evidentiary exam/ assessment and evidence collection; child, adolescent, adult and family advocacy; medical accompaniment; legal advocacy; statewide Adolescent/ Adult and Pediatric Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE) and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training; professional training programs for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, medical personnel, child protective services and allied professionals; consultation; training; protocol and policy development assistance for schools, media, government agencies, publications, and educational and youth-serving organizations.
Since it opened in in 2006, the Lily Pad has helped more than 2,100 primary and secondary victims, providing more than 2,000 referrals for additional services, forensic interviews for more than 1,800 sexually and physically abused children, more than 1,800 SANE exams, and coordinated MDT case review for more than 1,100 cases of alleged child sexual abuse, according to statistics from the organization.