Here in Houston, The Children’s Assessment Center deals with the topic of child sexual abuse on a daily basis.
- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday.
- Over 95% of children are abused by someone they know and trust.
- Only one in ten children will tell of their abuse.
- One in five children are solicited sexually while online.
The Children’s Assessment Center hears the painful accounts of child sexual abuse committed by family members, friends and strangers. We treat nearly 5,000 sexually abused children every year. All children have adults in their lives. Adults who may miss the signs of abuse; therefore, they fail to report. It is easy to do, because everyday people, like us, do not want to notice, do not want to believe, do not want to imagine someone we know harming a child. Yet, child sexual abuse happens every day in our community in alarming numbers.
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW
Educate yourself regarding the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse. Talk to your children about appropriate boundaries and empower them to be in charge of their bodies and not to be afraid to say anything if someone makes them feel uncomfortable. Ask these questions of all programs your child is involved in:
1. How does the program screen staff?
2. Are criminal background checks conducted?
3. Do they check references?
4. How do they monitor interactions between adults and children?
5. How do they handle inappropriate behavior or allegations of sexual abuse?
6. What training do staff and volunteers receive regarding prevention of child sexual abuse?
Let’s encourage every child serving organization we are affiliated with to call and invite The Children’s Assessment Center to do a presentation on the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse. Let’s ask the tough questions of our children’s organizations. Let’s not stand by silently. The Children’s Assessment Center is a leading advocacy center in the nation and we invite our entire community to join us in the fight against child sexual abuse.
Learn more about The Children’s Assessment Center at www.cachouston.org.Elaine StolteExecutive DirectorThe Children’s Assessment Centerelaine.firstname.lastname@example.org