DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — When Savannah Childress returned home, after her kidnapping she spent some time at a child advocacy center.
The Dragonfly House in Davie County offers protection to children like Childress who've experienced abuse.
The center works with children up to 17-years-old.
They're the initial crisis point and ongoing support for children.
Executive Director Brandi Reagan said medical exams, therapy and other mental health treatment are offered, among other services.
“We check in immediately after services about a month to six weeks after to follow up,” Reagan said. “Most of the time there's an active investigation so there's a lot of moving parts.”
They also help children prepare for cases and court processes.
“Go with them to the court house to show them what a court room looks like and make sure they're ready and prepared,” Reagan said. “Sometimes kids are, and sometimes they're not.”
Well after cases are closed, The Dragonfly House stays connected with victims.
“As they grow up and try to navigate relationships and learn who they can and cannot trust and develop who thy are they will experience emotions that take them back to when abuse occurred,” Reagan said. “And it’s always important to have that solid foundation they can go back to.”
Regan said community outreach is a big part of what they do.
Training and webinars are available for parents and children.
Some trainings give parents information on how to spot if a child is being abused or feels neglected.
The center's even tab has a list of upcoming community conversations.
Regan said the advocacy center is seeing more online offenders since the start of the pandemic.
She has this advice for parents.
“If you hear your kids mention a program you've never head before Google it see if its legit,” Reagan said.
Reagan said the Carly Ryan Foundation is a great source to stay up to date with the apps children and teens use.
It has fact sheets that show app age limits and other useful information.