Maui News

$100,000 UHA Gift to Sex Abuse Treatment Center Allows for Expansion of Services

November 29, 2021, 8:57 AM HST
* Updated November 29, 9:00 AM
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UHA Health Insurance will direct its $100,000 donation to Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children to the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. It’s the largest donation to Kapi‘olani Radiothon in its history.

“As Hawai‘i’s provider of comprehensive services to survivors of sexual assault, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center is an invaluable source of support to potentially everyone in our community, since anyone could be a victim,” said Howard Lee, UHA president and chief executive officer. “We are honored and grateful to help expand its services to better help survivors and, hopefully, prevent future sexual violence across the state.”  

UHA’s gift commemorates the 25th anniversary of its founding in October 1996.

The donation will allow the Sex Abuse Treatment Center to enhance its services with investments in technology initiatives. One tech project will expand outreach services, allowing victims the option of communicating with the organization through web chats and text messages. Currently, victims report assaults via a crisis phone hotline. As much as phone calls are a vital resource, the SATC wants to add other popular methods of digital communications to provide the greatest support to those in need.

These technological upgrades will also allow victims access to critical information contained on its website that is in more than 100 languages. This will complement existing translation services and significantly improve accessibility for victims in the language they are most comfortable speaking.

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UHA hopes that the expansion of services will better support survivors long-term health and wellness, both physically and psychologically.

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“It is with our deepest gratitude that we accept this generous gift from UHA,” said Lynn Costales Matsuoka, associate director of the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. “This donation will impact our entire program, including our latest endeavor to provide text and web chat options for victims. The technology opens more channels to impact additional lives. We can’t emphasize enough how creating these modern access points will broaden our reach to help more people. Texting and web chatting is one of the easiest ways for vulnerable sexual assault victims to step forward to connect with us, while still feeling safe and anonymous.”  

The Sex Abuse Treatment Center is a community program under Kapi‘olani that serves as a statewide service. 

In September, Kapi‘olani announced the $100,000 donation from UHA to kick-off the 2021 Virtual Kapi‘olani Radiothon for Kids. The gift is the largest in the 15-year history of the fundraiser for the Kapi‘olani Children’s Miracle Network. 

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After committing to the donation, UHA leadership learned more about current needs within the Kapi‘olani organization. UHA, which was founded and is guided by local physicians, was impressed with the all-encompassing web of support provided to survivors by the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, which was also founded by local physicians. Not only does it provide crisis medical and counseling services around-the-clock, 365 days of the year, it advocates for victims, offers longer-term counseling and conducts outreach for awareness and prevention. The organization has supported victims of all ages from kupuna in their late eighties to keiki who are only a few months old. 

“The truth is anyone can be a sexual assault victim,” said Costales Matsuoka. “When you consider the cases we serve, the perpetrator is typically someone the victim knows. There are also extreme cases that involve years of abuse, including young children, senior citizens and other vulnerable groups. We are needed, more times than not, to create a safe, supportive network and a path toward healing.” 

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