No more violence week is continuing on with an extremely important topic for our community, ending child abuse, and how we can help, something very important in our community.
“We look at the rates of sexual abuse that are reported to the children’s advocacy center here in Great Falls, they are very very high, and it’s a topic that’s hard to talk about,” said Jamie Marshall.
Especially for the kids that it happens to. One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Almost 73 percent of victims don’t tell anyone within the first year of it happening. Less than half tell someone within 5 years. And many never say anything at all.
But first barriers need to be taken down to begin the discussion
“What are some of those barriers in preventing sexual abuse? and how is it as a community or individuals we break down those barriers to ensure our kids are safe,” said Anne Auld.
Those boundaries may not seem like much to some, but they can cause someone to not report a problem.
“They're embarrassed, they don't want to embarrass somebody else, and they don't want to wrongly accuse someone. Intervening has to be some sort of accusation, when in fact it’s just a, hey I say you over with that kid, tell me what’s going on,” said Auld.
Although this may seem difficult, it could save a child's life. Speaking up is the best thing that can be done. As for a community like ours having a week devoted to this, it makes Auld proud.
“When I see a small community doing this much work, I really am encouraged by this community that is coming together and saying we care about our kids and we care about our families,” said Auld.
If you see or hear anything that does concern you, break down that barrier and don't be afraid to report abuse. The number to call child services is 406-841 2400.