One Place of the Shoals is committed to serving and protecting domestic violence and sex crime victims. They celebrated their commitment Thursday afternoon by showing off their renovated building.
Thousands of people come through the doors of the center and open up to investigators about some of the most traumatic things that could ever happen to them. Investigators now have their own offices so the victims that come in can feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
“When they come in here, they went through something traumatic and they don’t need people all over the place," said Sergeant James Distefano. "They’re coming and they’re trusting us with some very, very secretive information and stuff they just don’t want people to know.”
One Place of the Shoals opened its doors to serve and protect the community in 2014. Over time, they've had to grow and adapt so they can still do that.
“With today’s technology and the internet, and cellphones, and apps popping up every other day, it’s just so much easier now for predators to come in," said Distefano.
They've improved their computer forensic unit, they've made their interview rooms more private and comfortable so victims can feel even more secure and safe.
"When you can shut that door, it’s just the privacy of it," he said. "They’re more likely to tell us more about what’s happened to them than if there’s a lot of people sitting around.”
Victims of domestic violence and sex crimes can come to the center and receive all the care they need in one place.
"I know we’re saving lives because so many times victims are sent to the police department, to DHR, to go here, go there, so when you have all those services in one place, it’s a game-changer," said the Lauderdale County District Attorney, Chris Connolly.
One Place of the Shoals is there to help all victims. It doesn't matter how long it's been, they're there to help.