The statistics are staggering: 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. And other types of abuse are even more prevalent, so there’s a good chance you know a victim. Maybe you are a victim.
Fortunately, the compassionate and capable staff at the Dragonfly House in Mocksville has the skills and training to deal not only with sexual abuse victims and their families, but also with victims of physical abuse, serious neglect, and those who have witnessed violence.
The Dragonfly House began as an extension of Davie Domestic Violence, but Reagan said what they were finding was that adult victims of domestic abuse had also been abused as children. Something had to be done to stop the cycle, so she reached out to Rob Taylor, assistant district attorney who prosecutes child abuse cases, and the idea of the Dragonfly House was born.
Reagan applied for and was awarded a grant in 2010. The agreement was the agency would continue to be a part of domestic violence services but at the end of the two-year initial grant period, they would branch off to become their own non-profit agency, and on July 1, 2012, they did just that.
Today, the Lexington Road non-profit agency has a full time staff of four and contracts with a medical provider and two mental health agencies to provide, in house, child forensic interviews, child abuse medical exams (which can be performed only by a specialized child abuse pediatrician), victim advocacy and mental health treatment. They serve Davie, Davidson, and Yadkin Counties.
The Dragonfly, in Japanese culture, is a symbol of hope, strength, and courage, the three things the agency strives to offer to each victim of child abuse.
“We can still help some of these kids if people will just recognize there is a problem. One of the biggest methods to help prevent a child from becoming a victim is talk. Talk to your children. That helps take away the stigma. Empower your children, help them understand they are worth more than this but if something happens, they can talk to you or to another trusted adult, a teacher, a friend’s parent or pastor. And know that we here at the Dragonfly House have huge hearts for children, and we love what we do.”
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Reagan said they are creating awareness in April by taking the time to go into schools, churches, anywhere to help educate people on prevention and on recognizing the problem.
Brandi Reagan, director and child forensic interviewer
Kim Craver, child forensic interviewer
Heydy Day, child advocate
Dr. Amy Suttle, child abuse pediatrician
Jenny Broadway-Smith, on-site mental health therapist
Lorven Child and Family Development and CareNet Counseling, contracted mental health agencies
Facebook: The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center
161 E. Lexington Road, Mocksville