Sex abuse is far more prevalent in the United States than we want to admit or discuss.
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
- Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
- During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
- Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
Many people believe that commercial sexual exploitation (CSE, or commonly known as sex trafficking) is something that happens in third world countries. However, it is happening right here in our hometowns and neighborhoods. Due to the highways crisscrossing the state, Denver is one of the top ten cities for sex trafficking.
- The FBI said in 2014 its Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force and Colorado law enforcement recovered 94 minors from commercially sexually exploitative environments. This was up 54% from last year.
- By the end of this year, there might be capacity for eight of these children in all Colorado.
- After typical foster care, group homes, and juvenile corrections, most return to "The Life".
Children are often escaping (or wishing to escape) abuse or other citations at home. On their own, suffering from low self-esteem, victimization, and desperation their vulnerabilities are quickly exploited. Masters of manipulation, pimps seek their prey online, in malls, schools, and neighborhoods.
What happens after a child is rescued or saved from an exploitative environment?
Most will end up in Juvenile Detention centers or Foster Care. As a result, they often run away, back to the life and people that had endangered them or succumb to suicide, alcohol, or drugs.
Research shows, one of the key identifiers for their return to this life is that they lack the basic skills and support to lead a normal productive life. Mentoring helps provide these children with the social, educational and life skills they desperately need. Mentoring works because it assures a young person that they have support and are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges.
Blossom Care Network takes this a step further by delivering specialized trauma-informed training so our mentors can understand, recognize and properly respond to the effects of their abuse or explotaion.