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The Battle Against Child Sex Abuse: How Child Advocacy Centers Can Help
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on February 27, 2013 @ 7:11PM
Created on February 26, 2013 @ 6:51PM
"Be aware of the people that your kids are around." A warning from someone who knows what she's talking about. Sexual abuse against children is a major problem not only in the nation, but here in our state, as well.
The Child Advocacy Center in Randolph County offers free help to families and children who've been abused.
Their main goal is to teach prevention. They go into schools and teach children how to tell the difference between a regular touch and an inappropriate one.
Sharon Bedford, Executive Director of Randolph and Tucker County CAC said, "No one bigger than you should touch your private parts, unless it's to keep you clean and healthy."
Statistics say one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. In Randolph county, alone, there are over 1,000 potential victims.  According to the center, the abuse is usually by someone they know.
Bedford added, "Statistics also tell us that kids have to tell us an average of nine times before someone believes them."
Volunteer Coordinator Becky Wentz said, "Sex abuse crimes are the hardest for law enforcement to find evidence for, because there's often not physical evidence."
Sex offenders don't have stay on the register their entire life. Even though, according to these specialists, predators usually can't be rehabilitated.
"They may get caught. Maybe ten percent is probably a high number of predators that do get caught and go through the system and end up in jail," said Bedford.
The point of the CAC is to bring together mental health professionals, law enforcement, and a medical team, who all watch from another room while a child is being interviewed. This means the child only has to relive what happened to them one time. Before Child Advocacy centers, a child might have to go through the interview process about 15 times. 
"It does happen in our community. A lot more than you think," said Wentz.

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