School Of Psychology Field Trip To Child Interview Centre, Bukit Aman | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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School Of Psychology Field Trip To Child Interview Centre, Bukit Aman

A Glimpse into a Child Interview Centre.

Psychology students aren't content with merely memorising theories and definitions from textbooks.

Forget about boring old lectures — they crave those juicy, real-life experiences that bring their studies to life. By observing psychological concepts in action, they can gain a deeper understanding of how behaviours and attitudes are shaped.

On 24th February 2023, a group of 30 students and lecturers from the School of Psychology (SoP) rose early in the morning feeling excited, as they embark on a meaningful journey to the Child Interview Centre (CIC) located in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

Child Interview Centre, as known as CIC, is designed to provide a child-friendly place where children who are victims of various forms of abuse have an opportunity to share their story in a safe and comfortable environment, amidst the investigation process.

For many students, this visit was highly sought-after, as it marked their maiden voyage to a CIC, where they gained insights into the methodology behind conducting behavioural interviews with children.

Upon arriving at the location, they were warmly greeted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police – Puan Siti Noridah Binti Md Ayob, Assistant Superintendent of Police – Ms. Tang Ling Ling, Psychology Officer S41 – Ms. Kogilavathi Elawarise, and a few other police officers. The atmosphere was sincere and welcoming, with everyone eager to provide insight into the valuable work being done at the CIC.

Puan Siti Noridah, Deputy Superintendent of Police, began the session by introducing the history, values, and missions as well as stressing the importance of providing a child-friendly environment where young victims of abuse can feel safe and how this investigation process aims to support them every step of their way.

With her words, she painted an epitome of a place where children and women who have experienced any form of abuse – be it physical, sexual, or mental – are given a voice, and a chance to seek justice.

As the session progressed, Ms. Kogilavathi, the Psychology Officer attached with D11 in Bukit Aman, shared her invaluable experiences and her role in overseeing the wellbeing of victims, witnesses, offenders, and their respective families. (D11 stands for: Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division)

She frequently conducts counselling sessions and awareness campaigns on child sexual abuse, including the ‘Lollipop Experiment’. Together with police officers from the Royal Malaysia Police (Polis Diraja Malaysia), the campaign aims to educate parents on understanding the ever-evolving threat of child sex trafficking in the digital age. The term "lollipop" is a grim reference used by sex offenders, predators, and paedophiles for victims of child pornography. (Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 2023).

After the insightful sharing session, the CIC team took our SoP team on an informative tour of the centre. They got to see firsthand the recording room, investigation room, playroom, transcript room, and counselling room. Despite the Centre's primary function as an investigation place, it was built with a warm and child-friendly environment in mind, ensuring that young victims feel comfortable throughout the process.

Our student also shared their after-thought of the whole experience:

“We were really well taken care off, they (CIC team) had planned everything so well starting with the presentation and then they showed us around the rooms and the dolls. And overall, it was a very educative experience, further opened my eyes to the variety of jobs opportunities for the field. It was like a very balanced position where you get to experience one-on-one client stuff and work closely with the police department but not fully into forensics. Just a peek into what a forensic psychologist would do”.
Year 1 Student, Aminath Shan from Maldives.

“Overall, it’s a very good experience. I learned a lot, especially on how to talk to the children so they feel comfortable to share during the investigation process. Though it is challenging but I really salute the officers who tried their best in protecting and helping the children.”
Year 1 Psychology Student, Kirollos Said Soubhi Fahmy from Egypt.

“Thank you so much Mr Jaff for arranging the visit. It’s opened my eyes as I always aimed to involve myself in Criminal Psychology.”
Year 1 Psychology Student, Parisa Sadat Bizeh from Iran.

Due to privacy concerns and child protection issues, photography was not allowed inside the Centre. Nevertheless, the visit was an eye-opening experience, special thanks to the organiser, Mr. Jaff Choong Gian Yong and the team who supported which includes Dr. Zhooriyati Binti Sehu Mohamad, Ms. Izzati Binti Mohd Bashir and Ms. Amirah Husna Mohamad Hata Abdullah from the School of Psychology, Ms. Emily Octavia Mathius and Mr. Tan Wei Yu on shining a much-needed light on the epidemic of abuse facing our world today to our student.