Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there any cost to me?
A: No. All services provided by The Teal House are free of charge.
Q: What are your hours?
A: The Teal House is open by appointment only. Staff members are available to respond to cases around the clock.
Forensic Medical Exams:
Q: I’m am an adult (18+), do I have to report my assault to the police to receive services?
A: No. If you are 18 years of age or older you are not required to make a report to have a forensic medical exam. You can call the crisis hotline to request an examination without making a report. The SANE examiner will contact law enforcement to receive a Case Number for your evidence kit so that it can be held for up to a year in case you change your mind. This is not the same as making a police report, it simply allows your evidence to remain in storage and to be located at a later date if needed.
Q: How long will the Forensic Medical Exam take?
A: Forensic Medical Exams may take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete. The Teal House has a comfort room as well as a play area for those who accompany clients to the exam.
Q: Do I have to receive a physical exam to receive support services.
A: No. The crisis hotline is open to anyone in need of emotional support related to sexual assault and abuse. Our phone advocates can discuss referral to support services to any victim regardless of whether they have received a forensic exam.
Q: How many days after an assault can I have a Forensic Medical Exam?
A: Typically, Forensic Exams are done up to 5 days after an assault occurs. Occasionally, exams may be done up to 7 days after an assault on a case by case basis or at the request of Law Enforcement.
Q: I believe my child may have been abused, does the Division of Family and Children Services or Law Enforcement have to be involved?
A: Yes. Only DFCS and/or Law Enforcement may request a forensic interview. Due to mandated reporting laws in the state of Georgia, one or both agencies must be notified of suspected child abuse or neglect. For this reason, there must be an investigative agency involved in order for your child to receive a forensic interview or abuse related services through The Teal House.
Q: What should I tell my child about coming for a Forensic Interview?
A: It can be helpful for a parent to prepare a child for a forensic interview by letting them know the day before the interview that they will be going to see someone who talks to kids/teens at The Teal House. It is helpful to let your child know it is ok to talk about what happened and that they should tell the truth. It is important that you DO NOT question your child in depth or coach them in what they should say before the interview, as this can affect the investigative process.
Q: How long will the Forensic Interview take?
A: Families are typically at the Teal House for approximately two hours to complete the intake and interview process. The interview itself may last from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the child. The Teal House has a waiting area with books and toys available for children and their families.
Q: Can I go into the interview room with my child or watch the interview?
A: Children are typically more comfortable talking about difficult topics when their parents/caretakers are not present. This is because they may worry about how what they say will affect others emotionally or that they may get in trouble. For this reason, caretakers are not able to view or accompany children into the forensic interview. However, we will be happy for you to meet the interviewer and to show you the space your child will be interviewed. All of our interviewers are trained to help children feel at ease during the interview process.
Have a question that is not listed here? Contact us by phone at (912)489-6060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org