Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced today that her office would grant a local group $269,000 to quadruple its staff of forensic sexual assault interviewers to ensure a less invasive and less intimidating experience for crime victims.
Ogg joined with experts in the field of interviewing sexual assault victims to explain the process of “adult forensic interviewing.” Forensic interviewing is a process in which highly trained experts meet with sexual assault victims to get the information necessary to identify and prosecute their attackers without adding to the fear and trauma inherent in a sexual assault. Adult forensic interviewers coordinate with law enforcement to interview victims in a safer, neutral and less intimidating environment than a police station or hospital interview room.
As a result, assault victims often share more information in greater detail than they might in a more aggressive law-enforcement interview.
“Sexual assault is one of the most invasive and traumatizing of all crimes,” said Ogg. “Anything we can do to lessen that trauma and still get the information needed to lock up these attackers is money well spent.”
Khara Breeden, the founder and chief executive officer of the Forensic Center of Excellence, said Ogg’s office has been funding the center’s Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners adult forensic interviewing programs for more than two years.
Breeden said the grant from the District Attorney’s Office will allow her agency to employ three more full-time forensic interviewers, for a total of four. The center operates out of offices in the Upper Kirby District.
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