The Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention is a unique, multi-disciplinary, nationally recognized clinic in the San Mateo Medical Center. It serves the needs of victims of child physical and sexual abuse and neglect, adult sexual abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse, providing a compassionate, culturally sensitive, family-oriented experience for the victims of abuse, minimizing trauma and maximizing outcomes.
In August 2001, The Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention was created after a generous donation by philanthropists George and Adelaide Keller, longtime supporters of the San Mateo Medical Center hospital and clinics. Before the Keller Center opened at San Mateo Medical Center in 2001, children and adults who had been beaten or sexually assaulted in San Mateo County had to endure long waits in the county hospital emergency room. If they were conscious and not bleeding badly, they might wait as long as six hours to see a nurse or doctor, because heart attacks and people with severe physical trauma were given top priority.
The Keller Center currently treats over 600 victims of physical and sexual abuse per year and provides services to over 1,200 community members in need. Victims come from every city in San Mateo County, with no geographic or socio-economic barrier. Seventy-five percent of the victims are children. Every year, since its inception, demand for services at the Keller Center continues to grow. The Keller Center is one of the San Mateo County Health Foundation’s highest funding priorities.
The Center works in collaboration with the legal and judicial systems to facilitate effective investigations and prosecutions. In all cases, clinicians at the Keller Center perform comprehensive forensic examinations and collect legal evidence in a manner that is compassionate and culturally sensitive, while protecting the rights of the victim.
Today the Keller Center for Family Violence Intervention provides comprehensive forensic medical examinations, forensic interviews, and coordination of community services for victims of sexual assault, physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, and elder/dependent adult abuse. The Center is the only one of its kind in the county, and works collaboratively with law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, Child Protective Services, Aging and Adult Services, Rape Trauma Services, and Victim’s Services. The collaborative multidisciplinary approach helps minimize trauma to victims, and improves coordination and cooperation in investigations.
The Keller Center is a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center, meeting best practice standards for the care of child abuse victims, and is recognized locally as a center for excellent, compassionate care for all victims and their families.
The Center serves as a hub with four distinct interfaces:
- Medical & Surgical Clinical Care
- Law Enforcement/District Attorney’s Office
- Forensic Clinical Care
- Community Outreach
Since the Keller Center is the only emergency abuse trauma facility in San Mateo County, all local hospitals contact the Center when an abuse case comes to their emergency rooms. Referrals also come from law enforcement agencies.