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Interview Room Will Give Child Victims a Break

Feb 14, 2005 – Richard Grant, chairman of the Centennial Project for Rotary of St. Croix Mid-Island, said Monday something one doesn't often hear in the dedication of a project. He said he hopes it won't be used often in the future. The occasion was the dedication of an interview room for children where abuse or neglect have been alleged.
Kimberly Gomez, administrator in the Department of Human Services Division of Children, Youth and Families, who thanked the Rotarians for helping make the interview room a reality said it will probably get daily use. She said, "We have a lot of kids with a lot of issues."
The room creates a comfortable atmosphere for the child to be interviewed and has a two-way mirror so psychiatrists, police officers, social workers and family members can participate without intimidating the child victim being interviewed.
Grant said that the club had looked around for a project "that had a special meaning and met a special need in the community" to mark the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club.
The effort to build the room in Anna’s Hope, Office of Intervention Services was announced in last February and, though it was being officially dedicated Monday, Gomez said it had already been utilized.
Grant said that $7,000 in Rotary funds were used for the project as well as community in-kind donations of $20,000.
Ferryneisa Benjamin, Human Services assistant commissioner; said the dedication of the room was a historic occasion and she thanked all members of the Rotary Club. She said, "Not everyone realizes the scars that are left by child abuse and neglect. With your help we will help them overcome the damage done."
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