While we work hard year-round to spread awareness and education on sexual assault and abuse, April is a special time as it is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. Our goal through this month’s events and outreaches is to bring as much awareness as possible to this silent epidemic.
Would you be surprised if someone told you that every 107 seconds in America, someone is sexually abused? This is just one of many horrifying and shocking statistics. In order to prevent this from happening to more people, we must as a society acknowledge that it is occurring, and become experts on the problem in order to help prevent it. This is accomplished through advocacy, education and resources.
Are you unfamiliar with the depth and reach of this epidemic? Here are some quick facts you should know:
1 in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
90% of boys and girls who are abused are abused by someone they know, love and/or trust.
Children are the most vulnerable to being sexually abused between the ages of 7 and 13.
Everyday, opportunities to prevent child sexual abuse are missed because people are lacking knowledge or have been misinformed on the topic. Do you know the different categories and types of sexual abuse? Let’s take a closer look:
The first category is touching or contact abuse. This involves encouraging or forcing a child to take part in a sexual activity; coercing a child to take their clothing off; forcing a child to masturbate or touch someone’s genitals; penetration or rape; or sexually touching the child anywhere on the body regardless if the child is wearing clothing or not.
The second category is non-contact/non-touching abuse. This involves the encouragement of a child to watch or listen to people engaging in sexual activity; showing a child pornography; voyeurism; sexually exploiting a child for money, status or power; grooming and meeting with a child with the intention of abusing them; and asking a child to take photos without their clothing on.
WHAT IS TREES OF HOPE DOING ABOUT THE PROBLEM?
At Trees of Hope, we want to teach you the facts, what signs and behaviors to look out for, how to report suspected abuse to authorities, and other ways you can keep children safe. We do this through a variety of means, including:
Our Prevent Program, that offers a two – hour workshop on sexual abuse, the grooming process of predators, how pornography plays a role in sexual abuse, and more.
Our Rise Magazine – In this content-packed magazine, you will learn about the different types of sexual abuse, the symptoms of abuse, and how to have these important yet delicate conversations with your children.
Our outreach and mission is possible because of incredible and generous corporate sponsors, and for them we are eternally grateful.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our personal workshops, strategically developed for survivors of sexually abuse who are searching for healing. In addition, reach out to me to learn more about hosting one of our Prevent Workshops within your business, community, etc.
Through proper education, awareness, and people who are willing to speak out and protect our children, we can shed light on this silent epidemic.