April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. each year and over 3.5 million kids received an investigation or alternative response from child protective services to ensure their safety. (National Children’s Alliance, 2021: https://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/media-room/national-statistics-on-child-abuse/)
SOS strives to empower and advocate for those affected by sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. Although April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, our organization focuses on this topic year-round. Our staff knows the reality of these heart-breaking stories as innocent children confide in them and share the truth. We provide each child with safety, resources, counseling and justice. We help to be the voice of these children and fight for their best interest.
It is in the child’s success, recovery, empowerment and gratitude that fuels us to not give up advocating day after day. Here is one of many success stories that we can share: The SOS Child Advocacy Center received a phone call needing an emergency child forensic interview due to the child victim being placed in police protective custody for the child’s safety. The SOS CAC team responded immediately and allowed the child to tell her story in our safe space. She disclosed ongoing sexual abuse that was occurring in her home by her caregiver. The SOS CAC staff was then able to facilitate a SANE Examination immediately after the interview. The SANE team was able to provide support for the child throughout the process. Thereafter, the SOS CAC ensured the child had the referrals, services and support that she needed for her well-being, including immediate access to mental health services. The child has conveyed her thankfulness on several occasions, in which she expressed that it feels nice to have a team working towards her best interest. Due to her disclosure, the perpetrator was immediately arrested and took a plea. The perpetrator is currently awaiting sentencing and the victim is healing and thriving every day.
We ask that you help to educate yourself on signs of possible child abuse or neglect, help to spread awareness, and be a positive role model in a child’s life. For more information, you can visit: www.soskansas.com/helpachild.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911. If you suspect abuse or neglect – or if a child tells you about abuse, make a report by calling the Kansas 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-5330.