Article by W. Clay Crook-
The guest speaker for the February 9, 2021 Lexington Rotary Club meeting was Kim Hendrix, Director of the Henderson County Office of the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. She has been with the center for about thirty years.
The center is a non-profit organization and works with children and families that have experienced child abuse and are co-located with the severe abuse staff of the Department of Children’s Services, but the center does not remove children, but works with the children and their families. Forensic interviews are conducted at the center with the cooperation of DCS, the District Attorney’s Office, and law enforcement in order to reduce the number of interviews that a child has to go through.
Forensic interviews, trauma focused therapy, and examinations are part of what the center does for children who have suffered from child abuse. Due to the pandemic, the Tennessee Supreme Court has restricted jury trials, and it has impacted and backlogged many of the cases, but it is still important to get the forensic interviews and examinations in as timely as possible, and it is important for the child to know that they are safe. Most children are abused by someone they know and trust. “It’s hard to say no to an adult, they are the authority figures,” she said.
If a child is 13 or under, the forensic interview is recorded by DVD, legally watermarked, and can be used instead of the child having to personally appear before…
For the complete story, see the February 10th edition of The Lexington Progress.