River Bridge, which is a non-profit child advocacy center, is expanding in Glenwood Springs. On Friday, they’re moving into a new, larger building owned by Garfield County.
River Bridge provides help to child-abuse victims and their families. Their services include sex assault examinations for both adults and children. It’s one of 900 accredited child advocacy organizations in the U. S. The center originally opened in 2007 and demand for its services has skyrocketed in recent years.
According to Executive Director Blythe Chapman, their new medical examination room is a crucial part of expanding their services.
"Hopefully more victims will gain the opportunity to have a medical exam which can be very therapeutic," said Chapman.
The organization has seen referrals for forensic interview services increase by 179 percent over the last decade, while requests for medical exams have surged by 1,500 percent in the past two years alone.
River Bridge serves the ninth Judicial District, including Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Pitkin counties and has four full-time staff members.
River Bridge will pay the county $2 a year for use of the space. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the facility’s opening at 11 a.m. in Glenwood Springs.