STAT: 93% of all child victims of sexual assault know their perpetrator.
When people think of sexual assault and abuse, they often do not consider that children are one of the most vulnerable populations and represent approximately one third of our patient/client population.
Child sexual abuse is a widespread problem – every 9 minutes, child protective services substantiates, or finds evidence for, child sexual abuse. Tens of thousands of children are sexually abused every year. One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. The trauma of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and significantly impact children’s physical and mental health well into adulthood. Sexual abuse/assault victims are many more times likely than non-victims to develop drug addiction, PTSD, major depression and other mental health disorders, as well as chronic pain disorders.
Often, children are not believed when they disclose, or in many cases are too young or non-verbal to even be able to tell anyone that abuse has happened. Nearly all child victims of sexual assault know their perpetrator – in fact, 93% of the time, the child knows the person since 34% of the time it is a family member; and 59% of the time it is an acquaintance – family friend, coach, teacher, etc.
Avalon has extensive experience in providing acute medical-forensic healthcare for children of all ages (our youngest patient was only 2 weeks old). Avalon Healing Center is the only organization in the community that provides a comprehensive response to, and provision of, acute medical-forensic healthcare and crisis intervention to children and their families in the immediate hours and days following a disclosure of sexual assault or abuse. We partner with our local Children’s Hospital of Michigan, as they refer all of their acute child sexual abuse/assault cases to Avalon. In addition, we have a formal Memorandum Of Understanding in place with our local Children’s Advocacy Center and work firsthand with our Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, local city law enforcement jurisdictions, and other children’s advocacy & service organizations in order to ensure a compassionate, multi-disciplinary, timely and coordinated response.
Children who experience sexual violence deserve access to the highest level of best practice and comprehensive care. They deserve…