Recent institutional sex abuse coverups within the Philadelphia Catholic Church and Penn State University mobilized a group of professionals, parents and advocates to form CSA: Let’s Face It. Through its Web site and events, the new nonprofit offers support to adult survivors and hopes to raise awareness of the public health crisis created by child sex abuse.
The statistics are staggering. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. One in five has received a sexual approach or solicitation from an adult via the Internet in the past year. Medical expenses related to rape and sexual abuse of children tops $1.5 billion and indirect costs exceed an estimated $69 billion (CDC 2001). There is so much more to know.
“This is information we have to get into the community,” said president Maureen Martinez. “We think one of the most effective ways to do that is by offering an online resource hub.” Their Web site, www.csaletsfaceit.org, extends beyond well beyond numbers and facts. The home page shares a public service announcement featuring a former Philadelphia Eagle and other survivors from all walks of life. Others can share their own stories by submitting video blogs. A resource page provides links to other non-profits that focus on specific needs related to child sex abuse.
“It’s our hope that parents, community leaders and survivors take advantage of the information we’ve gathered,” said vice-president Kathy Kane. “With knowledge and appropriate action, many cases of child sex abuse can be prevented.”
Susan’s Note: I’m honored to be on the board of this important organization. Maureen, Kathy, Irene, Margaret and so many others have poured their hearts and souls into it. Please take some time to visit the Web site: C.S.A.: Let’s Face It.