Our children will face many, many dangers in life but there are steps we can take to protect them from the ‘unknown’ of childhood sexual abuse.
Many parents think their child will not be affected by childhood sexual abuse but the truth is anyone can be abused and anyone can be an abuser; men or women; rich or poor; any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, environment or background. Unlike people abuse does not discriminate.
Research has shown 60% of abusers are family members, close friends, neighbors, babysitters or someone the child knows well; it is estimated 1 in 4 boys and 1 in 6 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18; 30% of abusers are part of your own family and its estimated 10% are strangers. Many parents think it is just strangers you have to protect your children from, but 90% of all abusers are people the victim knows well. It is important to keep in mind not all perpetrators are adults. Research estimates 23% of abusers are under the age of 18 years old. Childhood sexual abuse affects approximately 300,000 children each year in the United States, but there are ways to protect your children.
Lee Roberts, the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Advocates United for Humanity, is a survivor of multiple forms of abuse at the hands of numerous perpetrators. The abuse began in what was supposed to be her childhood and continued through her adult years.
Her mission as a survivor and thriver is multifaceted as she speaks out against abuse in all its abominable forms. Lee speaks and writes the truth with no apologies. She fights for the safety and protection of the children and all survivors who are where she once was.
Roberts said, “As survivors we walk this journey together. Reach out, grab hold of the hand extended to you in your darkness and step forward into the light. Surround yourselves with the unconditional love and support you not only need but deserve as an individual and survivor. Allow yourself to unfold and begin to blossom as the precious soul you are.”
Roberts’ non-profit organization, Advocates United for Humanity, provides vital resources for those affected by abuse. Their mission is to enhance quality of life for those affected by violence through positive social change and deliver value to their members through resources, services and networking. AU4H suggests all parents get familiar with and use the Family Watchdog.
The Family Watchdog is a free online service to help locate registered sex offenders in your community. AU4H encourages parents and care givers to use their website to help educate your family on the many possible dangers in your area. They also allow you to sign up and receive free notifications to keep update with offenders that move in or out of your area.
To search sexual offenders in your area, visit the Family Watchdog website.