According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Roughly 33% of girls and 14% of boys are molested before the age of 18, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Nearly 2/3 of all sexual assaults reported involved minors and roughly 1/3 involved children under the age of 12. In most cases, however, child molestation goes unreported. Estimates are that only 35% of sexual abuse is reported. Kids can be frightened or embarrassed and many times do not say anything.”
Additional statistics according to Childhelp:
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.
Based on these statistics, sadly, a large portion of our nation consists of the "walking wounded" — those who have survived childhood sexual abuse, but will be forever haunted and scarred by its far reaching tentacles.
For many years, people in highly regarded places of influence — churches, schools, and government — swept under the rug a scourge on innocence that was slowly spreading and laying vast ruin to the lives it touched. Whether it was because it was an uncomfortable topic or part of an elaborate cover-up, the victims were all the same — innocent children who were made to feel afraid and ashamed for having their bodies used against their will.
Thankfully, the tide is turning and people seem to now feel passionate about this issue. Sadly, I can recall a history class years ago where a professor said that laws were established in the US to protect animals from abuse long before there were laws to protect our children. While I appreciate all that is done on behalf of animals, and am myself an animal lover, let us not forget our most precious commodity — our children.
Many Adams may cross my path or yours in the future. I hope and pray everyone, not only teachers, will have the confidence and conscience to compassionately assist any victims of childhood sexual abuse so they may get the help they need. Fortunately, through teaching Adam, I've learned that education is more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic.