The MISSION of Dove House is to minimize trauma to child victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending family members by providing a centralized, safe and child-friendly facility from which a multidisciplinary team (MDT) conducts investigation and intervention activities; to advocate for and support child victims and non-offending family members by representing their interest throughout the process, promoting appropriate therapies and making referrals to community resources as needed; and to enhance the process for optimal case resolution.
Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center is a fully accredited 501(c)(3), non-profit organization providing a safe and child-friendly facility that is supporting the investigation, prosecution and therapy / follow-up of reported child sexual abuse/assault cases that have occurred in Iredell and Alexander Counties. Child sexual abuse continues to be a monumental problem in our society, and unfortunately our local communities are no exception. We receive, on average, FOUR newly reported cases every week.
Since opening in September 2002, Dove House’s existence has enhanced coordination between the community agencies and professionals that are involved in responding to reports of child sexual abuse. These partner agencies that comprise our community’s Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) include the 6 law enforcement agencies in Iredell and Alexander Counties, the 22A Judicial District Attorney’s Office, both County’s Departments of Social Services, Guardian ad Litem programs, multiple medical and mental health providers, and the Dove House staff.
The coordinated agency response that is facilitated by Dove House promotes better understanding of and respect for each agency’s role and expertise, strengthens informed case management decisions, and most importantly, is designed to minimize the trauma which children and their non-offending family members can suffer during the investigation and intervention process. Our coordinated response has eliminated the need for traumatized child victims to go to multiple “scary” locations (e.g. police stations, District Attorney’s office, hospitals, child protective services, etc.) for interviews and medical exams. Rather, the child comes to Dove House’s non-threatening “home” environment, with the multiple MDT members coming to the child instead of the child being taken to each of them. One of the most important things we do is ensure that the child and non-offending family members are referred into the therapy they need to begin their healing process.Working together as a Team from the very beginning of a report of child sexual abuse not only significantly reduces the trauma that children and their families go through, but the multidisciplinary team approach also results in much higher quality investigations, which leads to optimum conditions for effective prosecution of perpetrators against our children. Our District Attorney’s office has averaged an 86% successful prosecution rate of these perpetrators since 2003 – a tremendous improvement over the less than 20% successes prior to Dove House’s existence.