Reclaiming Stolen Childhood
Wednesday - October 07, 2009 Share
By Joe Fadrowsky,
Chairman of the Board
Children’s Alliance of Hawaii
Is there anything more disturbing than learning that yet another child has become the victim of sexual abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse is one of the most underreported crimes, with some studies concluding that only about 10 percent of children “tell.” National statistics indicate that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by age 18; that more than half of all rape/sexual assaults occur within one mile of the victim’s home or at their home; and that seven in 10 of these victims knew the offender prior to the assault. Left untreated, these children are at high risk for serious and sometimes life-threatening behavioral disorders, including teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, domestic violence, unemployment and suicide.
All this illustrates that it is happening far too often and far too close to home.
The Children’s Alliance of Hawaii (CAH) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to providing care and support for sexually abused children, offering hope for the future. A core CAH activity since its inception in 1987 has been our public/private partnership with the Oahu Children’s Justice Center (CJC), a program of the Hawaii State Judiciary serving 1,100 children ages 2 to 18 each year. The CJC brings together a multidisciplinary team of professionals to coordinate activities and investigations of child abuse in a safe, home-like setting.
CAH offers unique programs intended to augment the services of its many fine partner agencies and to enhance the quality of life for sexually abused children. The goals for this continuum of care are to assist the sexual-abuse victims regain the joy of their lost childhood; improve their self-esteem; let them know they are not alone in their struggle; and empower them to create a productive strategic plan for their life. This is accomplished through our many programs, including Enhancements, H.E.A.R.T., Ho’omaka Teen Teaming, and our Christmas and other special projects.
Child sex abuse is a difficult challenge for our community. It is especially so for the victims and their families, whose lives are damaged and who must undertake the very difficult path to recovery.
I invite you to learn more about the Children’s Alliance of Hawaii and its programs by visiting http://www.cahawaii.org. To help CAH continue its mission, donations can be made to: Children’s Alliance of Hawaii, 1100 Alakea St., #400, Honolulu, HI 96813 or on our Web site. Together, we can make a difference!
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