ADS wants to do our small part in sharing the word about Project Beloved and their Soft Interview Rooms. Project Beloved is a non-profit organization with a mission “to educate, advocate, and collaborate to change the conversation about sexual assault and empower survivors to find their voices.” Tracy Matheson founded the organization in the wake of a horrific personal tragedy, and today Project Beloved is accomplishing multiple large-scale initiatives: Beloved Bundles, Scholarships, and the Soft Interview Rooms, which have been implemented all across the United States.
The Soft Interview Room initiative is what initially caught our eye, as ADS believes that this is a compassionate and important project which greatly aids in interviewing sexual assault victims. As opposed to the typically “cold, stark, and sterile” department interview space, Project Beloved works with law enforcement to make a special interview room more comfortable for survivors. They repaint walls, add pleasing furniture, blankets, and area rugs. Their set up ensures that light comes from lamps as opposed to overhead fluorescent sources, along with many other improvements that make these soft interview rooms better for survivors and the investigations. They’re trying to get away from “that institutional feeling,” says Matheson, and to make the entire process – from investigation to recovery – trauma-informed.
ADS supports this initiative wholeheartedly, and you can see photos and additional information about Project Beloved’s Soft Interview Rooms here, including an interactive map with every Soft Interview Room location across the country. We hope that more and more law enforcement departments continue to implement this victim-first thinking when designing their interview rooms.