April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which gives people across the country the opportunity to speak out, connect and raise awareness of an often difficult and uncomfortable topic.
Sexual assault has touched so many lives. We see it in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and many of us see it in our day-to-day lives.
But we don’t often see the impact on one of our country’s most vulnerable populations: foster kids.
Sexual assault statistics in the U.S. are grim.
For foster kids, they’re downright shameful. The fact that we haven’t yet addressed and STOPPED the rampant sexual assault and abuse in our foster system is abhorrent. Our children deserve better.
The facts are hard to hear, but it’s important we understand them and FACE them if we really want things to change.
Did you realize…
- Children who are in foster care are four times more likely to be sexually abused than other children not in this setting, according to a Johns Hopkins study.
- That same study found children in group home settings were 28 times – you read that right, 28 TIMES! – more likely to be abused.
- One study of girls in foster care found 81 percent had been sexually abused, 68 percent by more than one individual.
- According to ChildWelfare.gov, 71 percent of girls who age out of foster care will be pregnant by 21.
- And according to a 2010 REPORT TO CONGRESS, foster children are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children living with both biological parents.
The truth hurts, but it’s the first step in demanding better for our foster kids. What will you do to demand change?