MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown Police Department will continue its effort in making victims of domestic violence more comfortable by providing them with a place to tell their stories.
Delegate Evan Hansen (D-Monongalia) hosted an event Tuesday morning at the Morgantown Public Safety Building celebrating the five-year anniversary of the Judy King Soft Interview Room. Hansen presented a check for $2,000 to the police department and the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center. The money will be used to maintain and improve West Virginia’s first soft interview room named after Judy King on April 5, five years ago. According to a release from Del. Hanson, the funds will nearly double the maintenance fund for the soft room.
King said law enforcement has learned over the years to interview domestic violence victims in a safe comfortable place, rather than in the same interrogation room as a criminal.
“Victims really need our understanding and they just need us to allow them to begin to heal. I mean it used to be that victims were interrogated too. They were really treated almost like the offender. And that, thank God, has changed completely.”
“We’re obviously interested in continuing this room for years to come and making sure that it serves as a community resource for everyone who needs it down the road,” said Brian McAllister with Bailey and Glasser Law Firm. “Not just folks in Morgantown; this room has been used by folks as far away as Honolulu Hawaii.”
The soft interview room was named after Judy King because of her exemplary work as the director of the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center for nearly 40 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in three women and one in four men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact in their lifetimes. “We have an obligation to support these survivors,” said Delegate Hansen. “I’m thankful for everyone who contributed to make the Judy King Soft Interview Room a reality for survivors in our community.”
A full video of the presentation can be viewed here.