Child abuse occurs in epidemic proportions nationwide and across the globe. In the U.S. alone, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthdays, according to Darkness to Light, a national child sexual abuse prevention organization.
Our response as a country depends on
- Acknowledge the scope of the problem
- Informing and publicizing the facts
- Removing the myths about predators
- Emphasizing every adult’s responsibility to report suspicious activity or known abuse
- Providing guidance on how to report and prevent abuse to every adult and institution that serves children.
Reporting suspected or known abuse is a must if we are to protect our children. Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the state’s child protective services agency, the police or both. Research on disclosure rates tell us that less than a third of incidents/cases are disclosed or identified, and even fewer are reported. And false reports of child sexual abuse made by children are rare.
Further, there are a lot of deeply entrenched myths about child sexual abuse that are linked to harmful outcomes. One of the most deep-rooted and erroneous beliefs is that strangers pose the most danger to our children. One powerful myth is that pedophiles look and act creepy. The fact is people who abuse children look like everyday people: our relatives, our teachers, our coaches, our friends. The predators typically go out of their way to appear trustworthy and to gain the confidence of unsuspecting children and adults.
The national dialogue that Penn State has sparked mustn’t stop now. As a nation, as a community,we simply must continue to talk about the ever present danger of child sexual abuse, both with our children and with other adults.
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If you are looking for child sex abuse attorneys, Kosnoff Fasy has experience in boy scout abuse, mormon sexual abuse, catholic church abuse, and more. You can contact us at kosnoff.com or Toll Free: 1-855-LAW-4-CSA