The Failed State of the Union Regarding Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

by Mary L. Pulido, PhD and Professor Marci A. Hamilton

Although child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE) has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, the groundbreaking Out of the Shadows Index report from Economist Impact and the World Childhood Foundation USA establishes that a majority of states in the U.S. has failed to protect children from this crime. This jarring report provides an in-depth analysis of 28 states’ failures to protect children: 25 states earned an “F” while the three others scored a D-.

Current statistics paint a dismal picture. Regarding “in-person” sexual abuse, one in five girls and one in 13 boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18, and 90 percent of these crimes are committed by someone the child knows, trusts, or loves.

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