Caring House to open centralized interrogation room

IRON MOUNTAIN — When going through a traumatic experience, it might be hard to have to re–live the moment multiple times by telling multiple people.

Caring House looks to improve their care for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by installing a camera in their interrogation room. The partnership with local law enforcement is a way to help the victim explain and re–live a traumatic moment only once.

“It’s hard enough to say what happened, and you think of a sexual assault, a rape, and to have to say this to several people, several times, it’s just re–traumatizing,” said Caring House Executive Director Cheryl O’Neil.

In addition to making the process simpler and more relaxing for a victim, the change will help lessen the intimidation factor of being interrogated at a police station.

“So if we feel that way and we’re peers and work closely with them, can you imagine how a victim feels? It is intimidating,” said O’Neil.

“For all that the victim has been through; we are trying to make the process least intrusive as possible,” said Michigan State Police Trooper Geno Basanese. “Just doing what we can to help them through the process, just do the interview, do it one time, and what also is really nice about the caring house here, is that they have services available right here.”

The equipment was provided by the Superior Health Foundation, and makes it easy to digitally transfer the same file to multiple law officials. It is the hope of Caring House and law enforcement that this program will spread across the state and become a mainstay in interrogation techniques.