The Mecklenburg County’s District Attorney’s office is working with Pat’s Place, a child advocacy group in Charlotte to transform one of their waiting rooms for children. Having to testify can be a daunting and overwhelming experience for anyone. Imagine what it might feel like for a child, whether they’re a victim or a witness to a crime.
Andrew Murray, Mecklenburg County District Attorney, says they’ve redesigned and painted the room so kids can be more comfortable there.
“I don’t want to frighten kids while they’re here to testify for us. They’re our witnesses. I want to make it as easy and convenient and as friendly as possible,” he said.
Anne Pfeiffer, executive director of Pat’s Place, says it’s important to decrease their anxiety. By the end of the day, it’s about the kids first. The plan is to make them feel like what they have to say matters.
“Telling something that you’ve witnessed or been a victim to, especially something like child sexual abuse, can be very difficult to talk about. It takes kids, even adults, time that they can tell someone,” Pfeiffer said.
Pfeiffer says the goal is to get the children comfortable enough to tell the truth. That’s what the DA’s office says is the purpose of this room.