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Child sexual abuse:  the elephant in the room

Oh look!!! Do you see it? We all know there is an elephant in the room, and the elephant is child sexual abuse.


 There are three things happening today involving child sexual abuse:


Sexual abuse involving a family member or a person the victim knows. This is where most (90%) of the abuse is taking place, with family or friends! How sad that a child can't rely on being safe with someone they know and love. Good, additional information may be found on Dark to Light. One in four children is being sexually abused before their eighteenth birthday. This is unacceptable . . .  WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? 


We must learn how to help prevent this senseless crime that goes on every day in our community, in every type of home and with every background. We must learn the warning signs and educate ourselves about awareness and how we can help stop this horrific crime. Restore Hope will be dealing with this part of the child sexual abuse circle: children who are being abused by family, friends, neighbors, clergy, teachers or coaches, people they know, love and trust. Our community needs a facility where children can go to be safe, to have comfortable home-like surroundings with friends and loving Christian parents who will guide them through the healing process.  Restore Hope will be a place where they will receive counseling and be supported by people offering hope and opportunities to help them heal and grow into wise and well-adjusted adults.


Another kind of abuse is from a sexual predator, but a very small number.  We all have heard of the Adam Walsh, Elizabeth Smart, and Jacy Duggard cases where a stranger has kidnapped his victim and either murdered them or abused them for a long time. A new type of abuse in this area is sexual predators that find their victims through the internet. We need to know how to protect our children from this growing crime, and one that can come right into our own home. We will offer guidance to parents and the community, guiding them through the prevention and protection process, and the hazards of the internet. Websites where you may find additional information: Net Grace  Godly response to abuse in the Christian environment,  (there is a great video by the founder) and Protect Your Kids Now that offers protective software. 


The third kind of abuse, and fairly new knowledge to most of us, is sex-trafficking. This has been going on for many years but thankfully Linda Smith of Shared Hope International has brought this crime to light in our country. Sex-trafficking is befriending a young girl, (often she's a runaway who was sexually abused at home) and after she trusts the person and usually thinks he is a wonderful older boyfriend, he abuses her and forces her into prostitution. The girl is then put on a track that runs from Seattle to Las Vegas, and they are constantly moving. She is forced to bring in so much money every day. That's what's happening right here at our local high schools.  So when you see a missing persons poster and it's a young girl, you must be aware she might be a victim of sex-trafficking. Some victims are never seen again. A group doing marvelous work in this area is  Door to Grace. 


We all need to help as child sexual abuse is a growing epidemic.


Our most important question:  What can YOU do to help us? Does this touch your heart in such a way that you are willing to take a stand against child sexual abuse?


Please contact us if you are willing to help in any way.  Thank you!


Pam Congdon


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