JUNEAU – A teenager who has had experienced abuse donated comfort items Tuesday to the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office to help comfort other children.
“I have been prosecuting criminal cases for nearly 20 years,” Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said in a press release. “Day in and day out I have been confronted with the horrible things people do to one another. After a while it can be easy to view the world as bleak and lacking in hope and beauty. However, there are days when something happens to remind you that there is hope, beauty and most importantly love in the world.”
Dodge County Sheriff’s Office Detective Vickie Brugger brought the girl to the district attorney’s office with the care packages for children who have to go through abuse investigations. “Moments later a young person, in their early teens who had been subjected to abuse, arrived with dozens of bags filled with items of interest to kids,” Klomberg said in the press release. “Each bag had some toys, writing material, a blanket and attached tag that said ‘you are strong, you are brave, you are a survivor.’”
Klomberg said the teen explained that when they were interviewed for their case, they were very scared, but comforted because they remembered to bring their ‘blankie’ with them. “The bags they brought were filled with things that this person said made them feel better and more at ease as they went through the investigation,” Klomberg said. “This teen told us that they wanted other kids who had to tell their stories to the police to have these things so those kids would feel more comfortable.”
The child had started a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase the items. The teen then put the bags together for other children who will receive them in the future in hopes of bringing comfort to the child. Extra funds will be donated to groups that help abused children. “I was speechless,” Klomberg said. “Our office houses a forensic interview room where children who have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse, as well as children who have witnessed crimes, are brought to be interviewed. The interviews are recorded and conducted in a scientifically-validated process proven to obtain the most reliable information, even from very, very young children.
“I have witnessed these interviews, and listened to very scared and traumatized children describe unspeakable acts committed against them and others. These kids come to us filled with anxiety and fear, often still showing the physical and mental scars from what has happened to them. We try to make them comfortable, but we can only do so much. “To our anonymous child partner – thank you, you have made a difference not just in the lives of some abused children, but also in the lives of those of us who have to do this work. We are eternally grateful.”