WORLD CHILDHOOD FOUNDATION USA IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF:
THE US PILOT OUT OF THE SHADOWS INDEX
Developed by Economist Impact, this first-of-its-kind report focused on the US, is designed to help uncover how states are tackling Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) both in person and online. The study builds on the Global Out of the Shadows Index that was first released in 2019, and updated in September 2022. The US ranked 6th in the global study in 2019, and devastatingly dropped to 13th in 2022. The US Pilot Out of the Shadows Index reflects our efforts to turn this tide.
CSEA is a preventable, not an inevitable problem.
Together, we can create a country where every child is free of CSEA. Please support our work as we combat child sexual abuse and exploitation throughout the US.
Using 182 metrics aggregated into 22 indicators and 4 pillars, the report analyzed 12 US states and found substantial gaps in each of the 12 states to protect children from CSEA. The gaps differ from state to state, but there is a common thread: the prevention and response systems do not consistently place the interests and needs of the child at its core.
Scored 0-100, where 100 = best.
Three states were chosen from each of the four US Census regions, based on size and gross domestic product (GDP).
The report is designed to assess individual states efforts to combat CSEA in four key areas:
Policies & Programs Toward Prevention
Provisions of Support Services/
Response for Victims
Justice Process for Victims
A SAMPLE OF THE REPORT’S KEY FINDINGS
- Only two states (New York and Minnesota) have eliminated all exceptions to child marriage for those under the age of 18.
- Although sex education and HIV/ sexually-transmitted infection (STI) instruction is mandated in most states, there are few requirements that such instruction be evidence based or medically accurate. Only Illinois requires sex education to be evidence based and just three pilot states require sex education to be medically accurate. Access to comprehensive sex education – which encompasses both healthy sexuality and relationships and social-emotional learning – is a critical component of CSEA prevention.
- Three-quarters of the pilot states do not provide funding to youth-serving organizations for training on preventing child sexual abuse or peer-facilitated sexual abuse.
- No pilot state provides comprehensive medical support free of charge to CSEA victims outside of reimbursement through victim compensation programs. This includes provision of pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, STI testing, medications, treatment for injuries sustained during the assault, and counseling.