Recently we have been receiving emails, comments and posts asking if child abuse is not as big of a problem as we believe it is. Even some experts in the field of child safety have been quoted as saying “child abuse is on the decline.” Don’t believe it!
Yes it’s true that every day you can watch the news and read the paper and more and more there are stories about child abuse. But don’t think for a second that because it’s becoming more mainstream for reporters to write about child abuse or that child abuse is on the decline.
The truth is, researchers and child abuse experts can’t agree about this and the reason is…child abuse is a silent epidemic. The statistics of 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually exploited before they reach the age of 18 is touted, however, those are only statistics from reported and substantiated cases of abuse. The stats are inaccurate as most children don’t report.
We have had adults of all ages, female and male, share their history of abuse – some telling their story for the first time to us, after they have heard us speak at a KidSafe seminar. Where are these people in the statistics? They are not included. So think of this….If adults can’t tell until they are much older or never, how could we possibly think that children will?
This is why we must NOT believe even for a second that child abuse is on the decline and become complacent. Instead understand that child abuse is a silent epidemic which needs our attention and voice now more than ever. It is essential to every child’s safety and wellbeing to provide education and support so they will feel “safe” to come forward, “learn” skills to protect themselves, “understand” how to access help and most importantly that it is NEVER their fault. Providing prevention education to children and adults is the only way will we be able to make a dent in child abuse and report “this silent epidemic” is on the decline.
For more information on how to help www.kidsafefoundation.org