MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new Children’s Advocacy Center created by a partnership between ECU, Wayne and Duplin counties held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.

Bryant Gibson who’s the coordinator for the Children’s Advocacy Center in Mount Olive said the new facility for child abuse issues will bring many resources to the area. Gibson said they’ll receive referrals by their partners, which are law enforcement and the Department of Social Services.

“It’ll enable us to evaluate the child head to toe. Medically, it provides recommendations diagnosis, there’s no needle sticks,” said Gibson. “It’s not a regular OB visit, but it does check the child to make sure they’re okay and documents any type of child abuse that we can see visually, as well as taking history, and working with the professionals to help them bring these cases to court.”

But what the center offers doesn’t stop there.

“When they leave our center, there’s opportunities for them to get trauma focused therapy as well because that’s a real important factor actually, to me it’s almost one of the most important factors for their, I hate to say survival, but for their productive lives as they move forward and to know that they’re not broken. It’s just a huge, important piece,” said Gibson.

Gibson said being able to bring this new center locally benefits both the whole community and relationships.

“To provide this important service for the children and our partners is super, super important for them. And what I want to see is our working together and to give children the voices that they need, especially when they’ve gone through such a horrific event or an allegation,” said Gibson.

Gibson added TEDI BEAR (Tender Evaluation, Diagnosis and Intervention for a Better Abuse Response) in Greenville is one of their sister centers that’s been serving 20 counties in eastern NC. He said in an area that’s already struggling and underserved with both medical needs and a child abuse issue, Gibson emphasized how excited and passionate he is about the center’s opening.