I have seen the statistics and I know you have too. One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be abused by their 18th birthday. Those numbers tell us that over 3,000 youths in Sandy Springs are at risk – right here, right now! Think about that for a second. This means that “you” probably know a child that is silently bearing the impact of child sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, you may also know a perpetrator. Have you ever wondered who these people are or where they live? We often think of them in terms of “the stranger in the park”, but these individuals are often trusted family members, teachers, coaches, tutors, and clergy…basically trusted adults. Some of them may even be a neighbor. If you want to know if an offender lives in your area, check out the site Watch Dog and plug in your zip code. The results may surprise you.
Whether you understand it today or not, your life is being impacted by this horrific crime. The spill-over affects our community in many ways. Thirty percent of male survivors admit to violently victimizing others, 70 – 80 percent of serial rapists and 90 percent of prostitutes disclose being victims of CSA. Seventy to 80 percent of survivors report excessive drug and alcohol use and 90% of cutters report being sexually abused as children. These are not just statistics; these are our neighbors, our friends, and our family members.
But there is good news. Child sexual abuse is preventable. When adults and youth serving organizations learn the risks, know the signs, and understand how to react responsibly, we can change the culture of abuse. Earlier this year, the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy received a grant from the City of Sandy Springs. The intention is to educate as many of our residents as possible.
On Thursday, June 7th, City Councilman Chip Collins is going to host a “Prevent Now” presentation at 8:30 a.m. at the Heritage Community Room (details for registration are below). It is a FREE breakfast presentation, but the seating is limited. To register click here/or call (678) 904-2880 X205. I hope we all can get the courage to become aware.
Sandy Springs Heritage Community
Room 6110 Bluestone Road
Sandy Springs, GA
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.