Having trouble understanding the prevalence of child sexual abuse? Just Google it.
By now, you’ve probably heard the statistic that one in 10 children will be sexually abused by the age of 18. For many, seeing this number and actually understanding it are two different things. We hear statistics every day, and at some point we forget that these numbers represent actual children.
You may think: Yes, this number is too high. Yes, someone needs to do something about it. I’m glad my children are safe. I know everyone in my child’s organizations, I trust all our family members, and our friends are all good people. My children would tell me if someone made them uncomfortable.
So, we challenge you – Google it.
Result after result shows child sexual abuse happens across the nation and globe, in families and in organizations. Think your organizations are safe, or that you’d know an abuser if you saw one?
A 15-year-old squad leader for the Annapolis chapter of the Young Marines has been charged with sexually abusing a younger child over the course of two years in Glen Burnie and Pasadena.
A longtime associate pastor at Believers Church in Auburn has been arrested on child sex abuse charges. “People have shed tears because of what he appeared to be, a gentle old man. So yes, we were very shocked.”
As these articles show, child sexual abusers don’t always fit a type. The most significant thing they have in common is that they will be where kids are. This is why the ability to prevent, recognize, and respond is so important.
So, think of 10 children you know – your kids, your nieces and nephews, your friends’ baby boys and girls. These are the faces represented by “one in 10.” Do you know how to protect them?