First Lady Perdue praises child advocacy center - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

First Lady Perdue praises child advocacy center

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September 20, 2005

Tifton- State lawmakers, judges, chamber of commerce representatives, and the first lady of Georgia helped officially open the Patticake House.

"Children at risk, children who have been abused and neglected are my focus as first lady," says Mary Perdue.

In fact, seven years ago Perdue says she and her husband became foster parents for newborns awaiting adoption. She's praising the community for their efforts in creating the child advocacy center.

"We don't have enough of these center in Georgia. There's not one in every community, and frankly we have children in every community, in every county across our state who are coming into custody because of abuse or neglect," says Perdue.

Not only does the child-friendly atmosphere make it easier for the victims to talk about the abuse, but it's equipped with tools to make it easier for collecting evidence against their abusers.

"They are interviewed a forensic interviewer who is trained to interview children, and then they begin the process, finally somebody believes me, or now I can talk about it in a place where I feel safe," says Cindy Evers, President of the Board of Directors for the Tifton Judicial Circuit Shelter, Inc.

Before the Patticake House opened, law enforcers had to transport victims to other judicial circuits to conduct interviews. The center will serve children in Tift, Worth, Irwin, and Turner counties.

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