GCSO, Defenders for Children hold ribbon-cutting for new comfort room for child victims


GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and Defenders for Children officials held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday morning for a new room that aims to improve the atmosphere for child victims of crimes.

According to the news release, the new GCSO Internet Crimes Against Children and Crimes Against Children unit’s “Comfort Room,” was designed to the “revamp the atmosphere and improve the experience surrounding children who have fallen victim to horrific crimes. “

It may not seem like much. A few soft pillows, some fidget games, and a couple of notepads. But this room is the key to solving crimes against children.

“We just wanted a location that was more comfortable to make them feel at ease when they’re talking to us,” Sgt. Michael Rainey with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said.

Rainey heads the Internet Crimes Against Children unit and said making a victim comfortable is key to getting information.

“We’re here to listen and we’re going to be with them the whole journey that they’re important and their voice does matter to us,” Rainey said.

“They’re dealing with trauma and they’re under a lot of stress,” Toni Clark, founder of Defenders for Children said.

Clark helped make the room possible.

“So the room has all the details it has a warm and safe feeling and we just want to make sure the victim can cover all the details needed,” Clark said.

She’s committed to this cause, and is even the driving force behind Queue, the state’s first electronic detection K-9.

Sheriff Hobart lewis says getting children to speak about trauma isn’t easy.

“You can’t imagine the stories that have to be told over here,” Lewis said.

But this room will help.

“They try to tell their story and the events the tragic events that have happened in their lives as investigators interview them,” Lewis said.

And it all leads back to the main goal.

“It moves us one step closer to getting the perpetrators at the end of the day,” Rainey said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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