Briefly tell us about your role at the CAC.
My role at the CAC is Lead Forensic Interviewer. I conduct forensic interviews with children where there have been allegations or concerns of sexual abuse. I work alongside our multi-disciplinary team in the investigation, however I am a neutral person within the team. A forensic interview is an information gathering interview with a child which is conducted in the most child friendly and developmentally appropriate manner.
What do you want the community to know about child sexual abuse?
I would like the community to know that child sexual abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere, no matter the race, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. It’s also important for the community to be aware that the majority of sexual abuse occurs with someone the child or family knows and/or loves & trusts. Sexual abuse is most often not committed by a stranger.
What is it about your work that keeps you here and motivated?
I continue to do this work because I feel the forensic interview is an integral part of the sexual abuse investigation. Unfortunately, based on what we see, sexual abuse is so common among children. Gathering information from the child has to be done in a developmentally appropriate manner and the child needs to feel safe and supported while doing so. I am honored to be the first face the child sees and who they share their story with during the investigation.
What do you hope for the CAC in the future?
I hope the community is able to get a better idea of what the Children’s Advocacy Center is and what services are offered to the children and families in our community. The Center is a place of hope and healing, and we want any child that has endured sexual abuse to receive services and treatment to assist them in healing from the trauma they have endured.