It shouldn’t hurt to be a child…………..
Child abuse will only stop if we all play a part.
You can make a difference.
Supported by ADECA/LETS
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The future depends on what we do in the present.” Today you have an incredible opportunity to make a lasting impact on our present. By standing with the Clay House to help victims of child abuse, you can help invest in the future of children in Jefferson County.
FIGHTING TO SURVIVE
Imagine being afraid to sleep in your own bed at night. Afraid, because you know your father will come into your room later and “touch” you. Your step-mother knows what your father is doing to you and beats you everyday because she hates you. You are forced to live as a slave in your own house and you are beaten if your chores are not done “correctly.” You are not allowed to have birthday parties, go on school trips, or have friends like other kids. You are completely cut off from the outside world.
This tragic story of a young girl named Emily, who battled her father and step-mother alone until age 12, when she met the Clay House team members. Perhaps you know a child like Emily…
It is estimated that there are 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. The statistics are shocking:
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
- Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under.
Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships. Consequences of child sexual abuse begin affecting children and families immediately. They also affect society in innumerable and negative ways. These effects continue throughout the life of the survivor, so the impact on society for just one survivor continues over multiple decades. Try to imagine the impact of 39 million survivors.
Many people don’t believe that this is a serious problem, or even worse, that it doesn’t concern them. They’re wrong. While national child abuse statistics show that there are approximately three million reports of child abuse, experts estimate that the actual number of incidents of abuse and neglect are three times greater than reported. Child abuse IS a serious problem. The Clay House is here to help.
WHAT IS “THE CLAY HOUSE?”
The Clay House is designed to be a “homelike” atmosphere for physical and sexual abuse victims to receive intervention and treatment. This non-profit center provides a non-threatening, child-friendly approach for the comfort and safety of child victims.
The Clay House coordinates the community agencies that investigate and/or prosecute abuse allegations.
A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the District Attorney’s office, DHR, Law Enforcement, Clay House staff, and medical professionals coordinate services to assure that all cases of suspected abuse are thoroughly investigated. This multi-disciplinary team will also determine whether or not to prosecute the offender depending on the child’s disclosure and evidence. All of our services are provided at no cost to the child victim’s families.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
In reality, all adults have a part to play in preventing child abuse. Neighbors, friends, teacher, and coaches are among the many adults who can have a role in keeping children in our community safe from harm. Child abuse will only stop if we all play a part. You make a real difference. Don’t wait till it’s too late! Save a child today! If you suspect a child is being abused report it ~ call The Jefferson County Department of Human Resources hot-line at 205-324-2135 – or your local Law Enforcement agency.
Clay House Children’s Center is a non-profit organization and greatly appreciates all donations. Donations are tax-deductible.