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Child Abuse Awareness & CASA
    Apr 23, 2012

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April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. 

Be part of the solution to help those to young to speak for themselves by supporting CASA.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) provides advocacy by interested and committed community members for an individual child through the court and government agency processes until their case is resolved. 

Why is CASA so important?
Many workers in the child welfare system, including lawyers, social workers and judges, are often too overburdened to give urgent attention to each child who enters the massive system.  A CASA volunteer is an independent advocate and provides individualized attention for each child.

What is the CASA volunteer's role?
A CASA volunteer gathers information about the child's situation, attends court proceedings and makes a recommendation to the judge so that the judge has the information to make a decision about the child's future.  The CASA volunteer advocates for the safety, permanency and well-being of the child.

Child Abuse in America
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.

General Statistics
  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
  • 31% percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children.
  • Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
  • About 80% of 21 year old that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • Abused teens are 3 times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs.
Child Abuse & Criminal Behavior
  • 14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children
  • 36% of all women in prison were abused as children
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
Child Abuse Consequences
  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy
  • Abused teens are 3 times less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs
Child Abuse & Substance Abuse
  • Children who have been sexually abused are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • Children who have been sexually abused are 3.8 times more likely develop drug addictions
  • Nearly two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused as children




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