This is child abuse awareness month. It is a crime that happens far too often in our area. There is help, trained professional help for victims. "You don't have to be a victim for the rest of your life you can be a survivors," says Jannah Bailey with Child Protect. Bailey directs the program, she and her trained staff work with police and DHR to investigate allegations of child abuse. "Last year we conducted 468 forensic interviews on children where there had been allegations of abuse, 98% of those are child sex abuse cases, " explains Bailey.
Abused children taken to Child Protect are assigned a case worker who is the only person he or she talks with, establishing a meaningful rapport. "Our role in all this is to discern the truth and we do discern that. I would venture to say, you hate to say 100% of the time, but certainly close to that," says Bailey.
Bailey says physical abuse cases are up and she thinks the bad economy is a reason. "We've seen where families have moved in with other family members and just the stress of having the extra burden financially and just extra children there, we've seen where children have been abused," explains Bailey. It's important to get help for these youngsters because without help abused children become abusers. "Seven out of ten boys will offend if they don't receive some kind of intervention and three out of ten girls will get into very unhealthy relationship," says Bailey.