"What you really want... is for somebody to believe what happened. What you really want... is to stand up and be heard and believed, and then you can go on and rebuild a life." - Barry Lopez, author, childhood sexual abuse survivor (hear his interview)
The needs of the child always come first
River Bridge first opened its doors in 2007 to provide an efficient, comprehensive, and effective "one stop" response to child abuse and neglect. The cottage-style center is designed to enhance children's sense of safety and well-being.
The journey to recovery
A specially trained Victim Advocate serves as each child's guide and safety net during this most vulnerable time, keeping them fully informed about the process, resources, and ensuring their needs are met along the way.
Our bilingual Mental Health Therapist provides individual and family counseling for the abused child and their non-offending family members, in order to address, process, and, ultimately, recover from these painful experiences. Mental health assistance may also include preparation for court testimony, as well as a parent support group.
Within a comfortable interview room, our Forensic Interviewer interacts with each child asking developmentally appropriate, non-leading questions, allowing the child to share their experience and to provide information capable of withstanding court scrutiny, and aiding in the prosecution of abusers. Before children's advocacy centers, child victims were often made to relive their abuse, retelling their story multiple times to one official after another, frequently at a police station.
As part of this process, children may also receive a specialized medical exam to help ensure their health, address any medical needs, and to gather possible evidence of physical and/or sexual assault.