After a year and a half, renovation works were completed at the new police hearing studio in Recklinghausen. But what is really behind a child-friendly auditory room?
is a room specially designed with the interests of children in mind, designed by professionals from Sex Crime Commissioner it’s used. Personally affected children and young people can be carefully interviewed and listened to in a pleasant environment. In this way, investigators try to obtain the most comprehensive and reliable information, while responding to the needs of the youngest among us.
Rule out the retraumatization of children
The colleagues in the technical commissioner’s office paid a lot of attention to the design of the room and its use, and used their experience in renovation. In particular, colleague Frau Kriminalhauptkommissarin Sarah Brüggemann personally undertook the redesign and campaigned for radical transformation. “The decisive factor for the idea was the auditory situation that I personally remember. This sparked a desire to redesign the room. We want to eliminate the risk of re-traumatization of children as much as possible. It’s very important to us, ”explains Ms Brueggemann.
Visiting the police is an extraordinary experience for people in need of protection. In the case of traumatic experiences that need to be worked through, therefore, a cognitively negative relationship with the visit may also arise. It was necessary to counteract this process. The hearing studio has been passionately renovated, rebuilt and equipped with modern technology.
With the current equipment, we guarantee a good recording that can be used in court in criminal proceedings. Cameras and microphones track the hearing sequences from different perspectives and record all conversations and sounds. This gives children the ability to move freely around the room during the audiovisual interview. This suits their willingness to move and explore, and allows them to immerse themselves more relaxedly in the situation.
But the toys that are available also provide positive impulses for children to hear. They not only serve as pure support for children, but can also be used by researchers as a good illustration.
All in all, a completely new concept has emerged: a relaxed listening situation, attractive steps to play and, above all, excellent technology. “With the current equipment, we can document the entire interview without interruptions. The aim is to avoid repeated questioning of children and adolescents, to minimize the psychological stress of minors, “explains Sarah Brüggemann and continues to say that” The redesign of the courtroom was primarily intended to make it easier for children to talk about what they experienced and to develop as freely as possible. “
Children are only heard by specially trained officials. They attach great importance to the fact that hearing is age appropriate, sensitive and adapted to the individual needs of people affected by the disease, and from the very beginning they try to establish a good relationship with children. “But that varies from person to person. It’s the same with adults: not everyone can get along with everyone. Therefore, before the trial, we make sure that the child and the researcher harmonize well. The more carefully we work, the less likely it is that the child will still have to be questioned in court, says the chief inspector.
However, it was not created especially for children. Young people or people with intellectual disabilities of all ages also benefit from the advantages of the auditory room.
“In order to be able to properly listen to children or mentally retarded adolescents or adults, not only empathy and sensitivity are required, but also special training. It is about understanding the psychological foundations of children’s development on the one hand, and the legal requirements on the other, “emphasizes Friederike Zurhausen, stressing that” by redesigning a child-friendly auditory studio, we have taken a big step forward in tactical investigative approaches. We will continue to do everything in our power to provide victims of sexual violence with the best possible support during criminal proceedings and to conduct investigations in a professional and competent manner. ”