A Child Advocacy Centre has opened in Barrie that will provide a safe and neutral location for children and youth that have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse.
The first centre opened in Orillia in 2014, and since then, 600 interviews have been conducted.
Executive Director Tracey Carter says imagine a young child going into a police precinct to talk about a potentially traumatic experience they have gone through.
The Centre is home-like and welcoming with furniture and toys.
Carter says when a child or youth comes to the centre, it is through a referral made by police or child protection workers.
At the centre, the individual will meet with an advocate trained in social work that will explain the process, tour the centre, show them the video equipment, and they are told that they will be recorded and what they have to say is incredibly important.
Carter says the child or youth coming to the centre will feel welcomed and feel safe.
She says the advocate has the training necessary in dealing with this type of trauma and the processes that need to be undertaken to ensure from a policing perspective evidence is gathered.