Holly’s House has issued a statement to address misperceptions that have arisen after it was revealed that Jack Schriber, a former teacher and republican seeking an at-large City Council seat, admitted to having a sexual relationship with a student in the 1970’s.
Here is part of the statement:
Holly’s House is a non-residential, victim advocacy center serving victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault in southwest Indiana. The mission of our organization is to “empower victims of intimate crime by providing support, promoting justice and preventing violence.”
Holly’s House was established using the model for Children’s Advocacy Centers developed by the National Children’s Alliance. The foundation of this model focuses on the utilization of an inter-disciplinary team to work collaboratively with victims of child abuse from the moment abuse is reported through the resolution of any criminal justice proceedings. Child Advocacy Centers provide a neutral location for victims to receive support when first reporting the crime. At Holly’s House, a victim can be interviewed in order for law enforcement and child protection services to determine the details of the alleged crime.
Through Holly’s House, victims and their family members or caregivers experience an environment that is intentionally designed to minimize the emotional trauma for the victim as the interview about the crime is completed. In addition, Holly’s House works with victims and our community partners to initiate other services that support their healing journey. For many victims of intimate crime, the process of reporting the crime to investigators results in “secondary emotional trauma” which mirrors the trauma that was experienced when the crime occurred. Holly’s House strives to minimize this trauma through a single interview process. The Child Forensic Interviewer at Holly’s House is a neutral party whose role is simply to help the child communicate the details about the allege abuse. While the interview is occurring,
investigators from the Department of Child Services and the appropriate law enforcement agency are able to observe through closed circuit technology.
When adult victims of domestic or sexual violence are interviewed at Holly’s House a similar process is followed. However, adults are interviewed by an appropriate member of the law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the case.
While Holly’s House provides office space for representatives from numerous partners, each agency works independently to provide services for the victim within their area of expertise. Thus, Holly’s House does not have any authority to investigate an alleged crime, nor does our agency staff participate in, or assist with, interviews of suspects for these crimes. In addition, Holly’s House does not employ or have any supervisory function over the law enforcement agencies with whom we work.