April is Child Abuse Awareness month

Amy Salyers

“Not in my family, not my child” are words we often hear when talking about child abuse; especially child sexual abuse. 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. 1 in 5 children will be solicited sexually while on the internet.

90% of offenders are family members or somehow known to the child and family. This leaves a small 10% of offenders who are strangers. Only 10% of children report abuse to a trusted adult; leaving many children to silently bear the burden of child sexual abuse alone.

Child abuse occurs in all settings; our home and families, schools, workplaces, faith based organizations and our communities. Child abuse knows no gender, race, religion or socio-economic boundaries.

Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences.

Child Abuse statistics show that adults do not adequately protect children from child sexual abuse. There are many reasons why but the main reason is that they do not know how. Parents, grandparents and community members are unaware of the steps they can take to protect children from child sexual abuse. They do not know how to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse and they do not know what to do if a child tells them that it is happening.

April brings awareness to the importance of educating ourselves about the facts of child sexual abuse and to learn about available resources and the steps we can take to protect our children.

Ashley’s Place (Sumner Child Advocacy Center) is dedicated to providing multiple services to children and families who have been victims of child sexual abuse, severe physical abuse and/or witness to violence. The Center also strives to improve communication and case outcomes with joint efforts from Sumner County Law Enforcement agencies, Child Protective Services and the Sumner County District Attorney’s Office.

Ashley’s Place will be joining forces with Sumner County CASA to plant a pinwheel garden in recognition of the children served throughout Sumner County. Please join us at noon on Friday, April 22 in attending a reception to honor the efforts of both Advocacy groups and celebrate that every child deserves a great childhood. Reception held at 182 W. Franklin Street in Gallatin.

Watch for more information this month from Ashley’s Place (Child Advocacy Center) to learn about Darkness to Light’s 5 steps to protecting children and the work being done throughout Sumner County to protect and serve children and families.

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