Soft Interview Room Offers Comfort to Victims and Survivors

Compassion, safety, and comfort. Those are some words that can be used to describe what victims feel in a new space that just opened at the San Marcos Police Department. Survivors of crime, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and children in traumatic situations will be able to use a “soft interview room” to get the appropriate help they need. 

The room features soft lighting, white noise, soft textiles like couches and blankets to create a warm and welcoming place for people during vulnerable moments. Children will be able to play with toys, grab a bean chair and watch a movie, or find a fun book to read. All of this is an effort to create an environment that is comfortable for survivors to meet with a variety of professionals, including the SMPD Mental Health Unit, Child Protective Services, and others. The soft interview room will also create a secure space for SMPD detectives to interview survivors and obtain the information they need to close cases and provide closure to the victims. 

The idea for the soft interview room came after a patrol sergeant had three children sleeping in his office on a sleeping bag, while they waited for CPS and family to arrive. It was that night that the sergeant remembered his own experience with another agency’s soft interview room while dealing with a similar, traumatic situation.

A generous donation from Kissing Tree Backs Our Blue made this new community resource a reality. “When KT Backs our Blue became aware of the need for a reimagined soft interview room at our police department, it was obvious to our group that we should sponsor the project, and we were very proud to do so,” said Charlotte Parker. 

Soft interview rooms have started becoming more common at law enforcement agencies and even university campuses across the country over the past several years. 

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