One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday according to Darkness to Light. Samantha DeFranks is the program coordinator with Children’s Tree House Child Advocacy Center and says that number isn’t even close to the amount of cases that are out there.
“Because sexual abuse has such secrecy and stigma surrounding it we don’t know what the true and accurate number are because it is so underreported,” DeFranks said.
Defranks has been a trained facilitator for over five years with the Children’s Tree House Advocacy Center. The center specializes in coordinating investigations of child abuse or witnesses to violent crimes. Rosalind Alston says over the years she’s noticed that this issue is steadily growing.
“Last year, the child advocacy center saw over 400 children that were potentially child abuse victims of both sexual crimes, physical abuse and or witness to a violent crime and sometimes witness to domestic violence,” Alston said.
DeFranks received a certificate of appreciation during the luncheon. She says as a facilitator it’s her duty to help children in the community.
For more information on Children’s Tree House advocacy center you can catch them on an upcoming episode of Dateline in the next couple of weeks.