06 January 2010

Help Prevent Child Abuse

The Memphis CAC (in collaboration with You Have The Power) is providing a free workshop designed to empower ministers, congregational leaders, youth workers, and lay leaders to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. The event will be held January 11, 2010 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Kingsbury Christian Church (7887 Poplar Avenue, Germantown, TN 38138). The program meets the requirements DHS sets forth for personal safety training and certificates of attendance will be available. To register, contact Su Hartline at 901-888-4337 or shartline@MemphisCAC.org.

How Does Maltreatment Affect Early Childhood Development?

Many abused children develop issues that impair their social, emotional and physical development- these issues manifest early in life and can continue throughout the lifetime. Hostility, elevated sexualization, and other delinquent behaviors commonly observed in maltreatment victims, combined with diminished concentration, lead to higher school dropout and retention levels for abused children when compared to nonabused children. When children experience sexual maltreatment, they are more likely to have an elevated number of sexual relationships and, accordingly, an increased likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant unintentionally. Notably, the rate of teen pregnancy among sexually abused girls is approximately 4 times higher than non-abused girls (Putnam, 2006).

Fast facts (Zero To Three, 2009):

- Children from birth to 36 months of age are consistently the age group most likely to be victims of maltreatment. Infants and toddlers account for almost 30 percent of child abuse and neglect victims.

- Infants (under 12 months of age) are at greatest risk of maltreatment.

- The maltreatment rate for 2002 was 12.3 per 1,000 children (USDHHS, 2004). However, child welfare researchers suggest that actual incidences are much higher than recorded. A primary reason for this is that some less easily identifiable and sensitive cases of maltreatment, such as sexual abuse, are underreported.

Local Resources Designed To Prevent Maltreatment and Assist Victims

Child maltreatment prevention and intervention can help to decrease rates of abuse and neglect. Additionally, these programs are cost-effective, saving a minimum of three dollars for every dollar dedicated to program operations (Karoly et al., 1998).

The Memphis community is fortunate to have a city-based agency dedicated to providing for children who are victims of maltreatment. The mission of the Memphis Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is to serve children who are victims of sexual abuse and severe physical abuse through prevention, education and intervention. The Memphis CAC vision is a community where children are safe, families are strong, and victims become children again.

For more information on the well-being of children in Memphis and Shelby County, please visit The Urban Child Institute at http://www.theurbanchildinstitute.org/Home.


Karoly, L., Greenwood, P., Everingham, S., Houe, J., Kilburn, M., & Rydell, C. (1998). Investing in our children: What we know and don’t know about the costs and benefits of early childhood
Interventions. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Putnam, F.W. (2006). The impact of trauma on child development. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 57, (1), 1-12.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. Child maltreatment 2004. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Zero To Three. (2009). Facts about abuse and neglect of infants and toddlers. Washington, DC: Zero To Three.

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