The mission of Kaleidoscope Children’s Advocacy Center is to reduce the devastating long term effects of abuse on children, their families, and society by providing a safe place for children to receive empathetic, comprehensive services. A multidisciplinary system is utilized to best meet the needs of children, families, investigators, prosecutors, and the community.
The vision of Kaleidoscope Children’s Advocacy Center is a world without child abuse.
Help, Incorporated: Center Against Violence, the domestic violence and sexual assault agency in Rockingham County, began preparing for the addition of a children’s advocacy center over ten years ago. A task force, consisting of representatives of many agencies within the county, met regularly to formulate a plan for the CAC. In order to be successful a partnership with social service agencies within the county is critical. Kaleidoscope Children’s Advocacy Center completed its first interview in January, 2010 and has since provided more than 500 forensic interviews. In addition, medical exams, advocacy, and therapy have been provided to hundreds of children and their families. As an Accredited Member of National Children’s Alliance, Kaleidoscope Children’s Advocacy Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.
- 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18
- 1 in 5 children are solicited while on the internet
- The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old
- Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults are on children ages 17 and under
- More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8
- There are 40 million survivors of child sexual abuse in America
How Do I Know?
- Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused. Only 1 in 10 children disclose their abuse
- Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE
- Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse
- Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
- Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 15 to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children.
Long Term Effects:
- Health and Behavioral Problems: Sexually abused children who report their abuse and are not believed or do not receive appropriate care are at greater risk for psychological, emotional, social and physical problems throughout their lifetime. It is extremely important to react calmly, appropriately and remain supportive if a child reports abuse.
- Drug and/or Alcohol Problems: Victims of child sexual abuse are at greater risk for developing drug and alcohol related problems. Reports indicate that as many as 80% of sexual abuse survivors use drugs and/or alcohol excessively.
- Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Health: Girls who are victims of sexual abuse at a young age are three times more likely to become pregnant before their 18th Reports indicate that as many as 60% of teenage pregnancies are preceded by sexual abuse and/or rape by a significantly older male. Statistics show that more than 75% of teenage victims of sexual trafficking (commonly referred to as teenage prostitution) have been sexually abused in their past.
- Crime: Reports indicate that almost half of all incarcerated women report sexual abuse as a child and over 75% of serial rapists report child sexual abuse as well.
- Many Victims – One Perpetrator: Seventy percent of child sex offenders report having between one and nine victims. Twenty percent report having as many as 40 victims. Serial child molesters may have as many as 400 victims in their lifetime.
Director: Peg Stephenson, LCSW
Forensic Interviewer: Melissa McClary
Child Victim Advocate: Jannette Graham