Why it Matters: Every day, an average of 63 new cases of child abuse and neglect are reported to Riverside County. One-fourth of those cases demand investigation, which translates into 3,655 of investigations found to be true. Who is affected? All children are vulnerable girls and boys regardless of age, social and economic background or racial and ethnic group. The effects of child abuse last a lifetime and impact every member of our community.
Consider the facts An estimated 80% of young adults, under the age of 21, who were victims of child abuse, suffer from at least one psychological disorder, many of which include depression, anxiety, eating disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Victims of child abuse are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile and 28% more likely to engage in adult criminal behavior and violent crime by 30%. Victims of child abuse are more likely to use drugs and/or abuse alcohol over their lifetime. Child abuse and neglect have led to the developmental impact on parts of the brain, which have long term consequences for cognitive and language development and academic growth. Studies show that many victims of child abuse become abusers themselves; which continues the cycle of violence in society.
Children depend on adults for basic needs and safety. This means that it is everyone’s job to take an active role in the prevention of child abuse in our County. You don’t need to be a superhero to help a child, all you need is a caring heart. One of the best ways to help is to educate yourself on the long term effects of child abuse and neglect. Next, tell a friend about what you’ve learned. It takes a village to raise a child. Be part of our village today and join one of our Child Abuse Prevention Regional Collaborative groups.
For information on locations in your district, log-on to: www.hopecollaborative.org/getinvolved The groups meet on a monthly basis and sessions are open to the public. Our Regional Collaboratives aim to identify regional needs and risk factors in order to strategize on how best to achieve the safety of children and prevent abuse and neglect in our County.