ISU Police Department offers comforting room for crime victims to speak in supportive environment
The Illinois State University Police Department (ISUPD) now offers a comforting space for crime victims to speak with officers in a non-threatening, supportive environment.
“As law enforcement professionals, we have come a very long way in understanding how our response can impact victims and survivors,” ISUPD Chief Aaron Woodruff said. “We use a trauma-informed approach and make sure they feel believed and supported.”
Many police department interview rooms are sparsely furnished and stark, which may make victims feel uncomfortable or even like suspects.
“Our goal is always to reduce any barriers which may impede someone from reporting what has happened to them,” Woodruff said. “This new room will hopefully help survivors and other victims of crimes feel a sense of security and serenity when reporting to the police.”
The newly refurbished room has a comfortable couch, end table and lamp; it features a wall decorated with positive, helpful statements such as "we believe you" and "serenity." Martin's Home Furnishings and ISU printing services helped supply the furniture and decor for the room.
Sexual assaults are a growing concern on campuses across the country. ISU aims to help victims recover from such traumatic experiences and to help prevent future incidents by encouraging victims to discuss sexual violence with authorities.