SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Each week, we introduce you to someone who makes our region a better place to live.
We call them community heroes. This week’s community hero is Amy Bachman.
“I’ve learned kids are resilient,” Children’s Advocacy Center of Sullivan County forensic interviewer Amy Bachman said.
For the last 25 years, Bachman has worked tirelessly to ensure children in Northeast Tennessee are protected. Just this month, she reached the 4,000 mark in forensic interviews.
“Not necessarily 4,000 children. There could have been a child that I’ve interviewed three times for different allegations, but 4,000 is a lot of interviews,” Bachman said.
During her time as a child protector, Bachman has learned how to help kids start the healing with therapy and counseling, but the process does not happen overnight.
“I’ve learned that not all kids tell like we think they’re supposed to. There’s a time process for disclosures. Some people never tell,” Bachman said.
Gena Frye, director of Children’s Advocacy Center, said, “She’s done it for so long and I know that some of the cases have been very difficult but she just handled them very well.”
She was inspired by child protection at the age of 11 when she and her mother were traveling.
“We were in a mall, in the food court. I saw a mother slap her child on the face, and I had never experienced anything like that at all. It was at the moment,” Bachman said.
From that point on, Bachman says she always wanted to ensure kids were protected. She is among the top five child protectors in the state with the most interviews and experience.
When schools shutdown, interviews decline they were worried about what would happen once safety measures were lifted.
“My worry was so many kids at home, alone, unsupervised on the internet. There are virtual schools but they still have a laptop. Lots of parents don’t know about parental controls. We have grandparents raising children that don’t know about computers,” Bachman said.
Frye said, “I thought that would be one of the hardest things she could do but she always has handled that with professionalism and had a heart for wanting to protect children and do what’s best for the children.”