Victim Assistance Unit works to help kids after crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN– There are victim assistance counselors on standby in Indianapolis for any crime that may occur, but often they’re working with kids.

IMPD’s Victim Assistance Unit reports in just the first three months of the year, it’s worked with well over a hundred kids ages zero to 18 who either were the victim of a crime or were there when one happened.

“This is something that nobody should see, especially a small child,” Lisa Brown, a victim assistance manager, said.

Sometimes counselors with the unit are the first contact a child has after a crime before going on to forensic interviews or counseling.

“Our unit does not question them but a lot of times they’ll want to process what they’ve seen so we’ll just listen while they talk,” she said.

They also provide small comforts during an unimaginable time. Brown said they carry blankets and toys in their cars and keep an arsenal of DVD’s and games on hand in the office.

“We’re kind of the calm in the storm after something like that terrible has happened. We’re just somebody that comes in and just kind of displays the normalcy of it,” Brown said.

“It’s just sad that these young children as you know and we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks have been witnesses to such violent acts,” Major┬áRichard Riddle said at a crime scene Thursday night.

Police said a man was shot and killed at the Shadeland Inn with four young children in the room.

Earlier this month, police said someone shot and killed a woman and critically injured her husband with their children there to see it near 38th and Keystone.

“Just sadness that they’ve had to experience that,” Brown said.

Brown reminds parents to get their children help if they’ve seen or experienced a crime.

Police are reminding parents keep children out of situations where violence may occur.

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