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April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Did you know:

Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

be informed

Young women and men and parents of young women and men pay attention!

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

Campus Sexual assault

  •  One in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college
  •  More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault
  •  63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes

Finally FOR MEN and WOMEN:

NSVRC shows:

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives

These statistics seem unbelievable and quite shocking. Unfortunately, from the increasing traffic into Hopeful Hearts Ministry … there is no doubt. What is worse is these statistics only come from what is reported.

2 TimothyHow do we keep ourselves and our children safe? By not being afraid to speak about the hard stuff. Having the much needed ‘sex talk’ is difficult and it is imperative to reiterate the gift we each have in our self-respect and dignity. Inform young people of what healthy boundaries are, i.e.: their body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and they have a right to say “I don’t feel comfortable with this,” or simply, “No.”

It is shocking even how many adults find it hard to feel ‘worthy’ of these healthy boundaries. I know, in my instance, because the sexual abuse happened at such a young age my boundaries are askew. I went through life feeling as if my desire to refuse didn’t matter, my power to resist with healthy boundaries was weakened through the child abuse and later through the sexual assault as a teenager.

And for the real young, in regards to all areas of abuse, allowing them to recognize that they every part of them is a special gift and should be treated as such helps to enforce those healthy boundaries of self-respect and dignity. Plus, young eyes watch and learn.

Often if we have not addressed our own issues our little ones will soon mimic our weak boundaries.

If abuse has happened to you and you’ve never spoken about it please consider talking to a trusted counselor, family member, friend, pastor, or even contact us at hopefulhearts333@gmail.com.

Listen to Shannon’s interview on AMR Today’s Issues.