Over 200 million children worldwide are subjected to forced sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual violence. In the United States one out of four girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by 18 years old. Nearly 50 percent of all sexual assaults are against girls under age 16.
There are an estimated 60-80 million survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) in the United States. Sexually abused children have a higher likelihood of being affected by psychological and physiological ailments and sociological pathologies. CSA produces extremely severe consequences, including:
- Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological problems.
- Anti-social behaviors.
- Decreased school performance and delinquency.
- Substance abuse.
- Teen pregnancy.
- Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
- Homicide and suicide.
CSA contributes to the commercial sexual exploitation of children. It costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars annually in medical and psychiatric treatment, social services, special education, and legal costs.
Most CSA is never reported due to shame, fear, stigma and other factors. Authorities often minimize or dismiss the abuse reported, blame the victim and protect the abuser. More than two-fifths of women and more than one-third of men who have been sexually abused never disclose the experience to anyone.
Stop the Silence is a non-profit organization which began in 2002 as a coalition of like-minded people dedicated to addressing the CSA pandemic. It has grown to provide comprehensive programming, research, education, training and community outreach to bring awareness to this horrible problem. The charity’s overarching goals are to:
- Help stop child sexual abuse (CSA) and related forms of violence.
- Promote healing of victims and survivors.
- Celebrate the lives of those healed.
Stop the Silence functions with a small staff, low overhead and volunteer labor. Funding comes from various foundations, government organizations, corporations, and private individuals. The organization currently accepts small donations through 12for12k.org.
Stop the Silence has proven its drive and ability, and plans to push forward on all fronts to ensure that children are protected and that survivors get the help they need to thrive.
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