KALISPELL – The Flathead County Children’s Advocacy Center housed in the Kalispell Regional Medical Center Emergency Department is home to many dedicated medical providers committed to helping victims of sexual assault.
Down a private hallway of the ER — inside a secured and unmarked suite — is where you will find Debbie Mulcahy. She’s a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team, working at the Flathead County Children’s Advocacy Center as a sexual assault nurse examiner.
Mulcahy is part the first multidisciplinary team in the state specially trained to respond to child victims of sexual assault and leads a group of sexual assault nurse examiners to collect forensic evidence when law officers bring in a victim of sexual assault.
Mulcahy says someone is always available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to a child abuse case or sexual assault.
"My role as the medical provider; number one is to make sure that the child is safe and their medical needs are met that might include a forensic exam," Mulcahy explained. "Reassuring the family, they just want to make sure their child is okay, the child just wants to make sure they’re okay and maybe collecting evidence."
The Center saw an increase in the number of child sexual abuses cases in last year and conducted 139 interviews in 2017. Mulcahy added that around 50 pediatric exams are performed each year at the Center.