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Lavinia B Masters

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Member Since: Aug, 2006

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Plano Center Specializes In Helping Rape Victims
By Lavinia B Masters   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2007

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(CBS 11 News) PLANO Try entering a busy emergency room and telling the person behind the desk that you've just been raped. A special area of Presbyterian Hospital of Plano called the Serenity Suites was put together with compassion in mind. As a survivor and advocate, Lavinia Masters was asked to come tour and give her thoughts on the suite.

Lavinia Masters was raped when she was just 13-years-old. It was the darkest day of her life. She said, "When I went to the hospital, I felt like I was victimized all over again, because my experience at the hospital was not wonderful for me. But I can imagine coming to a place like this would be more comforting, more soothing and would give me more, just a sense of serenity, like they named the room."

Lavinia remembers sitting in a crowded waiting area and being examined in a room with four white walls.

At the Serenity Suites, there is a comfortable area for family members to wait, and a special play area for victims who have children. Rather than talking to detectives while sitting on a stretcher in a hospital gown, an area is designated for the agonizing discussion with police.

"Remember, this is a horrific event in their life. They're in crisis. They're in a very delicate time. They need to move slowly," said nurse Judy Common.

Serenity Suites also has a private bathroom with a shower.

The Serenity Suites may be the only place of its kind in the nation. The nurses there say that they've traveled to many other hospitals and never seen anything like it.

Lavinia says this suite may take some the trauma out of reporting a rape. "I was nervous when I was told about it, but when I walked in, and I know other victims would feel the same way. I felt, it's like a sigh of relief. When I walked in, I was like, 'Wow, this is amazing.'"

Although the center is located in Plano, you do not have to be a Plano resident to go there. The Serenity Suites are open to everyone. For more information on the hospital, click here or you can call the National Rape Crisis Center at 1-800-940-7273.

Web Site: CBS 11 News

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