Our Efforts Are Working: Child Sexual Abuse Rates Are down

By Patrick Noaker
Child Protection News
September 9, 2010

According to researchers at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, cases of child sexual abuse decreased 6 % in 2008.

[Business Week]

The Center director, well-known social researcher David Finkelhor, reported that the decrease in incidents of child sexual abuse is related to the efforts to educate and respond more effectively and aggressively to the problem and prevention efforts. This is great news for all of us who are working diligently to prevent child sexual abuse. According to the study, this 6% decrease is part of a 15 year downward trend in physical and sexual abuse of children.

What does this mean? This means that every time that someone takes the time to report suspected sexual abuse, every time a caregiver talks to a child about appropriate touch, every time that someone keeps an eye on an unsupervised child, every time a reporter publishes a news article on the subject of sexual abuse, and every time someone donates to a charitable cause that supports child protection, they are making an incredible difference. This is especially true in the area of clergy sexual abuse, where prevention efforts of the grass roots organization the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) have been downright heroic in their efforts to prevent and ultimately end child sexual abuse.

Think about those children who fall in that 6%. They do not have to live with the emotional pain relating to child sexual abuse. They will not experience heightened risk for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Through each of our efforts we can continue the downward trend in child sexual abuse. Let us know what have you done to help protect kids from child sexual abuse by leaving a comment. Even the little things like speaking up at your child's school, writing a letter to the editor or your newspaper, or leaving a comment on an online article involving sexual abuse. Inspire others to join the fight to prevent child sexual abuse by leaving a comment.

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