Get Involved--Protect the Life of Another

By: Russell Martin, President

Missouri Baptist Children's Home
Posted: Oct 28, 2022

I want to share with you some alarming and concerning statistics. 

The latest report from the state of Missouri indicates that as of October 14, 2022, there were 13,689 children in foster care.  The majority of them were placed in state custody because of neglect.  And the vast majority of the children and youth we serve are in state custody. 

During FY 2021 (the latest year that data are available), 4,688 children were involved in incidents that were investigated and were concluded as substantiated for abuse/neglect.  Up to six categories can be assigned to each child as to the reason for a case being substantiated. 

Neglect was the most prevalent category assigned representing 53.8% of the findings.  Other categories assigned were: 

            Physical abuse – 33.3%

            Sexual abuse – 32.6%

            Emotional abuse – 14.0%

            Medical neglect – 2.9%

            Educational neglect – 1.1% 

These numbers are concerning, especially when we consider that we do not know how many cases go unreported.  In fact, the most recent statistics I have project that 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.  I don’t know how accurate that might be, but it is fair to assume there are probably many more that are not reported than there are reported. 

Other statistics I would share with you: 

  1. One in ten children will be sexually abused before age 18.
  2. 90% of victims know their abuser.
  3. More than 80% of sexual abuse cases occur in isolated, one-on-one situations.
  4. Children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 13, but sexual abuse does not respect any age and can and does occur at all ages.

 Most of us are not trained to prevent, recognize, or know how to respond to child sexual abuse.

 We provide Stewards of Children training, which is a two hour training program that teaches adults to: 

  • Recognize signs of sexual abuse in children.
  • Recognize unsafe behaviors by adults.
  • React responsibly when a child discloses or when an adult discovers or suspects sexual abuse. 

This is led by a certified facilitator and is offered to churches, schools, and other organizations.  If you have not had this training in your church, I urge you to contact us and get this scheduled.  Our children deserve the two hours investment of your time to attend. 

In partnership with REHOPE and Crisis Aid International, we provide group homes for minor girls and adult women who are survivors of human trafficking.  Family foster care and therapeutic group homes are available for those who have been neglected or abused physically and/or emotionally. 

Our website also contains information on several other resources as well. 

Here are three number you need to keep at your fingertips. 

The first number is 800-392-3738 and is the number to call should you see or suspect a child is being abused or neglected.  This can be done anonymously.  Many of you in this room are mandated reporters, which means you are required by law to report.  However, even if you are not a mandated reporter, you want to do all you can to protect a child who may be a victim.  This number should be used for any neglect or abuse, physical, sexual, emotional, or otherwise, for children. 

The next number is 888-373-7888 and is the number to call should you see or suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking.  This is a national number that has anti-trafficking hotline advocates available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.  

The last number is 314-785-9889 and is a sexual abuse information line that MBCH has established for survivors, family members, and others to call for assistance and information on resources.  Kathy Woods, our clinical services director, fields and responds to these calls.  Her passions include working with women who have sexual trauma and domestic violence issues.  She also works with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, and a host of other emotional issues.  She has facilitated sexual trauma groups for 20 years.

 Become part of the solution.  These traumas affect children for a lifetime.  We need to do all we can to eliminate the exposure of children and, at least, minimize the extent of neglect and abuse. 

So, learn the facts, minimize the opportunity, recognize the signs, and react responsibly.

We stand ready to be a partner with you as we battle these most unfortunate traumatic events.  I would encourage you to contact us for further information at 1-800-264-6224.

 

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