Courthouses in Tennessee’s 8th district now have safe spaces for victims, including Fentress County.
Tennessee 8th District Attorney Jared Effler said the areas will be a secure place where victims can wait to take the stand and avoid intimidation and harassment from their perpetrators. He said the safe spaces are very important for children and victims of domestic assault.
“Often times in those cases the victims know and or maybe relate to the perpetrator, so it’s very easy for victims to be intimidated in those situations, and especially for child victims just the anxiety associated with coming to court.”
Effler said victims of any crime who feel the need for a safe space are welcome to use it. He said he the project was made possible with the help and funding of the Office of Criminal Justice.
“They opened up for solicitation a $10,000 grant to all counties in Tennessee, and we were successful in working with our local government to secure grants for all five of our counties,”
Effler said. “And I’m proud to report that we now have a safe space waited area in all five of our counties.”
Effler said he hopes more safe spaces will begin opening in courthouses across the country. He said he knows safe spaces are effective because he has seen victims use the space and have the courage to safely take the stand.
“I believe this is one of the best things we can do as prosecutors and service providers to provide this safe space to eliminate that harassment and intimidation,” Effler said. “Because we’ve seen firsthand how effective they are”