Mesa Leventhal Baker
Medical Director - Dr. Mesa Baker &ndash Baltimore Child Abuse Center
Baltimore Child Abuse Center - Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse
Medical Director - Dr. Mesa Baker
Feature article on Dr. Mesa Baker, Baltimore Jewish Times 6/08/2007
Doctor Treats The Molested
Dr. Mesa Leventhal Baker
lives a frum life, deeply committed to her
family and her
When one is next to this UpperParkHeights resident, you feel her
You find yourself with a quicker step and at times a long-lost smile on your face.
wouldn't call it a survival method, but it probably is in a way.
Because as medical director of the BaltimoreChildAbuseCenter
, Dr. Baker
has probably seen more "downers" in one day than any one of us could humanly handle.
She is a forensic pediatrician.
sees hundreds of cases of molestation yearly in her
And yes, some of them come from homes you and I would call "in our neighborhood."
"You have to be a really upbeat person to do this sort of work," she
said while eating lunch on a warm spring Sunday afternoon.
Mesa is from Baltimore, born at St.AgnesHospital.
said that child sex offenders operate on a spectrum of behavior.
They go from married individuals who prefer a partner of the opposite sex to dedicated pedophiles who are often clever and insightful.
They know, she
said, "their target audience.
"For many, it's an addiction like other variations, I believe," Dr. Baker
said also that she
believes the Orthodox community to be about "20 years" behind everyone else in the validation and care of victims.
Some of her
said, are so in the dark about what's happened to them, that they don't even know the proper names for their own genitalia.
They, instead, refer to these areas, she
said, as "down there.
As in, "He
touched me down there.
emphasized over and over again that child abuse is a crime that must be reported to the authorities.
Allegations of child sexual abuse deserve the most experienced professional assessment you can get.
It should also be done in a way that does not traumatize a child or put words in his/her mouth.
That is why the BaltimoreChildAbuseCenter
was developed as a child-friendly, supportive, neutral location to conduct a non-leading interview by an experienced forensic interviewer.
To keep children and their families from having to repeat things over and over, a multi-disciplinary team approach is used.
The team is comprised of the forensic interviewer (a licensed clinical social worker or a psychologist), the detective from the Child Abuse Unit, the Child Protective Services worker and Dr. Baker
performs a close-up examination of a victim's skin, using a special camera, looking for changes or scarring.