While the world has been brought to a grinding halt due to this pandemic, we are reminded this month that both child abuse and sexual assault continue to exist in our communities. It is heartbreaking to hear statistics like ‘every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted’ and ‘every 10 seconds a report is made about child abuse’, no doubt the frequency of these offenses has increased during this time of shelter-in-place.
Child abuse has been described as a ‘hidden epidemic’ for children in their own homes, one that doesn’t end after the first act. Children who experience all forms of abuse and neglect carry those scars throughout their lives in what we know is classified as Adverse Child Experiences (ACEs) that determine the trajectory of the quality of their physiologically, emotionally, and cognitive life.
Though sexual assault has been trending in the media in the last couple of years with high profile individuals it has not lost the countless acts against the everyday young woman, college student, and new job recruit. We know there are many agencies, legislators, and everyday Americans avidly working toward eradicating the allowance of these acts. We are especially thankful for those working in the fields of prevention and intervention for child abuse and sexual assault despite the barriers that COVID-19 presents.