Why so much talk about child sexual abuse? Is it really that big a deal? Since you’re looking at this, those probably aren’t your questions. You’re aware of the magnitude of the issue. Talk to the average people, going about their busy lives, and they aren’t. They are not aware…or they choose to stay in denial. It’s just too hard to think about. Talk about it? Oh no…we don’t talk about those things.
By not talking about it, they don’t know that child sexual abuse (CSA) is believed to be the number one health issue among children. They don’t know that studies and statistics say 1 in 10 children are sexually abused by their eighteenth birthday; or that a recent study showed that 1 in 4.2 girls are sexually abused while still minors.*
This is not something we can talk about once and be done. We have to keep talking. We have to have the tough conversations with our friends, family, co-workers, church members, and our children. We have to help others get past the awkwardness of talking about sex to help change the attitudes of those around us, and thus, over time, the culture around us.
A culture in which child sexual abuse is not treated as a severe crime must be changed. Change takes time. Change brings resistance. Change takes persistence.
Be a part of that change. Get involved. Often simple action steps are all it takes to make a difference and better protect children from sexual abuse. Speak up if someone is creating a risk in a one-on-one situation with a child. Tell the staff member of volunteer the door has to stay open. Ask that friend not to talk like that in front of the children. Ask that family member to ask first if a child wants a hug, and then, if given permission, do so appropriately. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference in the big things.
Blog post and article by Kelly Stutts
All rights reserved.
Hi, I'm Kelly Stutts, the Prevention Specialist of the CSA Prevention Initiative and a Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator. I'm passionate about preventing abuse and giving children the best start in life possible. Thanks for your interest! Please contact us with any questions or needs. We'll help if we can.
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