Open Arms and The Lilly Pad combine efforts to make it easier on victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Open Arms and The Lilly Pad combine efforts to make it easier on victims

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May 22, 2008

Albany-  Dougherty County now has one location to investigate child abuse cases.

With a handshake, the Open Arms Sunshine Center transferred testing and interviewing responsibilities to the Lily Pad Sane Center. While Open Arms continues to serve as South Georgia's only Child Abuse Shelter interviews and exams of sexual abuse victims will be now be done at the Lily Pad.

"Most of the kids who come to the Sunshine Center have already been traumatized so we felt like having one destination where they go for the forensic interviews as well as the physical part which is the examine under one location would minimize that trauma," said Fonda Strong, Open Arms Executive Director.

"One of the concepts of child forensic interviews is to put them in a friendly environment, child friendly and we'll have toys and soft fuzzy colors and that kind of stuff then they're not exposed to a police interview room that tends to be a lot more sterile, hostile and foreboding," said Chief Don Cheek, Dougherty County Police.

Lily Pad will assume those duties June first.

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