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Moultrie children’s advocacy center opens new examination center

Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 5:33 PM EST
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - A children’s advocacy center is furthering its efforts to help victims of child abuse.

The Hero House in Moultrie just opened its SANE center. The June Cottage at the Hero House officially opened in October.

The Hero House was initially opened just for forensics, and now, the June Cottage will allow them to expand their services for children in Colquitt County.

“This is our first step in our expansion. Is to do the exams here for the children that have been sexually abused,” said Executive Director for the Hero House Regina Dismuke.

Regina Dismuke, Exec. Director, Hero House
Regina Dismuke, Exec. Director, Hero House(Source: WALB)

He said this sexual assault nurse examination center, or SANE, will have a total of five certified nurses on call 24/7.

Now, any child who needs an examination can head right to the June Cottage behind the Hero House.

“That is after our Dr. June, who is a pediatrician here in Moultrie that has always been a doctor that you could go to for any child,” said Dismuke.

The June Cottage is a critical piece of the Hero House.

“The most pivotal part is to get the prosecution through with, and then get them back on the road to recovery,” Rod Howell, Colquitt County sheriff, said.

He said if a victim needed examination, not having a SANE Center nearby made the process more difficult. The support team and the victim would have to travel outside of the county for examinations.

Rod Howell, Colquitt Co. Sheriff, Hero House Board Member
Rod Howell, Colquitt Co. Sheriff, Hero House Board Member(Source: WALB)

“Usually Thomasville, sometimes Valdosta. It was all hours of the night. It’s a traumatic experience to start with. What they’re fixing to go through is something they have to live with their whole life,” said Howell.

Howell said hearing this SANE Center was going to open up was huge for them, along with state of the art equipment.

United Way of Colquitt County helped fund medical equipment for the center like the Cortex Flo, which Dismuke said only a few other centers have in Georgia.

“We had a request for $7,500, but $13,800 is what we actually allocated and gave for the SANE Center,” said Caroline Horne, director of United Way in Colquitt County.

With voice activation and capturing the smallest details during an examination, Horne said they’re so happy to help with such an important initiative.

Caroline Horne, Exec. Director, United Way of Colquitt Co.
Caroline Horne, Exec. Director, United Way of Colquitt Co.(Source: WALB)

She said Dismuke has taken the Hero House to the next level.

“What she’s done with her planning, the SANE Center and her board, she has just created a better place,” said Dismuke.

Some 131 victims came to the Hero House in 2019, and about a third of them needed a SANE Center examination.

Dismuke said they’re hoping to have a child advocate and do therapy for the children there in the future.

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