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SALT LAKE CITY -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and numerous groups and individuals are working to raise awareness about this terrible problem.
Victims by Age
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Sandy woman Linda Garner was sexually abused as a child. As an adult, she decided it was time to write a children's book about it, hoping parents would read it with their kids.
Maggie is the little girl in the book, who has been touched by someone her family knows very well. Sexual abuse is not an easy topic for parents to bring up with their kids -- especially young kids.
But Linda hopes her book, "Some Secrets Hurt," helps parents broach the subject.
"I hope to bring it in the open where we can talk to our kids about it," she said. "We need to prepare our children. Many children are at risk because they don't know."
Like Maggie, Linda was sexually abused by someone she knew. She was 8 years old.
Utah ranks 10th in the nation for child abuse. Every 16.5 kids out of 1,000 is abused or neglected in the state; nationally the average is lower: only 12 kids.
Those numbers come from Prevent Child Abuse America in 2008. Other numbers show 90 percent of felons, 70 percent of teen drug abusers and 95 percent of teenage prostitutes were abused as children.
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According to an Economic Impact Study for 2007, the direct and indirect cost of child abuse in the state is more than $1.5 billion.
The Child and Family Support Center of Cache County shared those numbers at an event they hosted called "Stepping Up."
They displayed 237 pairs of children shoes, each representing a case of confirmed child abuse and neglect in Cache County.
The Center hopes this event shows Cache residents -- and the state -- that abuse happens everywhere.
- Utah ranks 10th in the nation for child abuse.
- In Utah 16.5 kids out of 1-thousand is abused or neglected; nationally the average is only 12 kids.
- 90% of felons, 70% of teen drug abusers, and 95% of teenage prostitutes were abused as children.
There are 13 other centers across the state like the Child and Family Support of Cache County that help families prevent and deal with abuse. They also offer a 24-hour crisis hotline for families in need.