Why Prevention is Important?

What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse includes:

Any sexual act between an adult and minor, or between two minors, when one exerts power over the other

Forcing, coercing or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act

Non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism, and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet

Why is prevention important?
Kentucky has the highest child abuse rates in the U.S. According to the “child maltreatment” report from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky had 22,410 victims of child abuse in 2017. That represents about 22.2 victims per 1,000 children in Kentucky, first among all states in 2017 and more than double the national average.
The impact of child maltreatment can be profound. Research show that child maltreatment is associated with adverse health and mental health outcomes in children and families, and those negative effects can last a lifetime. In addition to the impact on the child, child abuse and neglect affect various systems, including physical and mental health, law enforcement, judicial and public social services, and nonprofit agencies as they respond to the incident and support the victims. One analysis of the immediate and long-term economic impact of child abuse and neglect suggests that child maltreatment cost the nation as much as $258 million each day, or approximately $94 billion each year. (Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky)

The Impact on the Labor Force:
Higher levels of chronic and metal health conditions among adults who were victims of childhood abuse and neglect may also affect the labor supply through lower productivity. Good health, while vital for individual wellbeing, also plays a large role in employee productivity. When adult survivors of child abuse and neglect suffer from long-term effects of chronic and mental health conditions, the results are increased number of sick days and increased number of days at work marked by low productivity. Some studies have noted that productivity losses for chronic diseases can be up to 4x higher than the costs of the associated medical expenditures. This means that in addition to the direct medical expenditures estimated above, female survivors of childhood physical abuse cost the economy an additional $40 to $75 billion in lost productivity each year. Adult survivors of child maltreatment are more likely to have:

- Decreased health-related quality of life as shown by considerable evidence of higher levels of chronic and mental health diseases

- Adult obesity, cardiovascular disease, and adverse lifestyle behaviors such as alcohol and tobacco use.

> Women-Annual health costs for adult women reporting physical abuse during childhood are 22% higher than those not reporting. If one considers this excess cost, which is about $500, and multiplies it times the number of adult women in the US (about 110 million) and the prevalence of self reported physical abuse from this stud and others, ranging from 19% to 34%, then the excess healthcare costs associated with childhood physical abuse for women in the US is between $10.4 and $18.7B/year.

> Men-Medical expenditures for men could be higher because their prevalence of self-reported physical abuse is higher and the excess medical expenditures for other types of abuse (sexual, emotional), and the economic impact on our healthcare system is even greater.

Child Sexual Abuse Statistics:

90% of children abused are abused by someone they know and trust; of that 30% tend to be family members

About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abuse before their 18th birthday

23% of all 10 to 17 year olds experience unwanted exposure to pornography

Over a period of time, 1 in 25 youth received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact

Only 38% of children that experience child sexual abuse disclose to an adult

(Data Source: Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)