Are we being too quiet about abuse?
Apparently this is the first time studies have actually tracked hospitalizations as a result of child abuse, so these numbers are fresh (though they use 2006 data, given the delay of data release and analysis). According to another study, over 1,700 children die per year in the U.S. due to abuse and maltreatment. While the youngest kids were at greatest risk for hospitalization, and poverty was identified as a risk factor in abuse that leads to hospitalization, these findings have implications for every youth worker in every kind of ministry.
When it comes to sexual abuse (not a focus of this study), statistics reveal that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual abuse by age 18. Over 70% know their abuser, too often a family member.
How are you talking about abuse in your context? Do kids know who they can talk to and where they can go if they are victims of abuse (of any kind)? What kinds of safe and healing spaces are we fostering in our ministries in order to provide hope for kids who have suffered abuse?
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