We Can Break the Cycle of Child Abuse

October 6, 2017
This artwork by Donna Grethen relates to the Catholic Church's response to continuing issues involving priests sexually abusing children.

This artwork by Donna Grethen relates to the Catholic Church’s response to continuing issues involving priests sexually abusing children.

 

The statistics surrounding child abuse are heartbreaking and staggering. So much so that is is difficult for most of us to get our heads around the magnitude of the problem. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, young children are victimized in our communities every day.

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Washington is in no way a political organization. Our heart and passion is to help children in dire need of healing from the trauma of abuse. However, we felt it prudent to stand with one of our wonderful partners,Darkness to Light, in this difficult work and show support for an op-ed that was published in the Seattle Times recently. Our support of the article is in no way a political statement, though it is written about former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. On the contrary, our supprt of this message shows our agreement that more can be done to find a better way to help children in need.

Here are some compelling excerpts from the article:

  • How prevalent is child sexual abuse? … The National Children’s Alliancereports that nearly 70 percent of the more than 311,000 children served at Child Advocacy Centers across the country in 2015 disclosed sexual abuse.
  • More than 90 percent of children who disclose their abuse indicate the abuser is someone they and their families know well, directly contradicting the “stranger danger” fallacy.
  • The likelihood that anyone would lie about being the victim of sexual abuse…is extremely rare — less than 8 percent — of which most are related to tumultuous custody disputes.

 

What’s the Answer?

The societal stigma associated with child abuse can be broken. It’s not an easy task. Frankly, it’s downright difficult and complex. But this hill can be taken through strategic partnerships, education, awareness, legislation, our multidisciplinary teams and our amazing staff. Together we can protect each child’s right to a safe and healthy childhood.

 

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