"Not all kids, unfortunately, are born into homes where they are safe and well taken care of."
It's estimated that one in four girls and one in seven boys experience some form of sexual abuse by the time they reach adulthood. In Kentucky, more than 46,000 children were reported abused or neglected in 2003. Almost 4,000 of them were victims of sexual crimes, and 278 of those children live in the Barren River Area.
"That's a lot of kids and so if you really break it down and make it more personal, you begin to realize just how many kids are abused in our own communities."
Director Dawn Long, with the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center says kids who fall victim to sexual abuse can overcome the traumatic experience, if they get help early on.
Medical attention is available at the Child Advocacy Center in Bowling Green, a place where sexually abused children go to be examined and questioned in a safe environment while their case is being investigated.
If not properly treated, child advocates say victims can face some serious short and long term effects, including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, sexual dysfunction and substance abuse.
For more information, log onto www.bracac.org, or contact the center at (270) 783-4357.