Today, District Attorney Kim Ogg of Harris County announced a $269,000 grant from her office to a local organization. This funding aims to quadruple the organization’s staff of forensic sexual assault interviewers, with the goal of providing a more sensitive and less intimidating experience for crime victims.
Ogg collaborated with experts in the field of interviewing sexual assault victims to elaborate on the process of “adult forensic interviewing.” This method involves highly trained professionals meeting with victims to gather the necessary information for identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators without exacerbating the fear and trauma associated with sexual assault. Adult forensic interviewers work in coordination with law enforcement to conduct interviews in a secure, neutral, and less intimidating environment compared to traditional settings like police stations or hospital interview rooms.
The result is that victims often feel more comfortable sharing detailed information compared to a more aggressive law enforcement interview.
Ogg emphasized the invasive and traumatizing nature of sexual assault, stating, “Anything we can do to lessen that trauma and still obtain the information needed to apprehend these attackers is money well spent.”
Khara Breeden, the founder and CEO of the Forensic Center of Excellence, mentioned that Ogg’s office has been supporting the center’s Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners adult forensic interviewing programs for over two years. With the grant from the District Attorney’s Office, the agency will be able to hire three additional full-time forensic interviewers, bringing the total to four. The center is based in offices located in the Upper Kirby District.