Thursday, January 24, 2013

"A Little Comfort" : Project 10

Did you know that 1 in 4* or, in some research ,1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 or, in some research, 1 in 6* boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday?

Nearly 3/4 of victims will not tell anyone for at least a year. Nearly half of victims will wait at least 5 years before telling. Some never tell. **

90% of cases are never reported. Ever. Which mean the majority of sexual offenders are walking the streets free and unknown to society.
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.*****

The Abusers:  30-40% are immediate or extended family members of the victim.***
As many as 50% of abusers know their victims and are in a position of trust with the victim and/or family.***
As many as 40% of abusers are larger or older children - siblings, cousin, friends, neighbors, community members ****

Only 10% are estimated to be strangers****

The VictimsThe average age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years.
50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are under age twelve
20% of children will receive a sexual solicitation via the Internet

The Cost Victims PayChildren that are sexually abused are at a higher risk to suffer from: low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, obesity. attempted suicide or suicide, and prostitution.

This is appalling!  What can we do? 

There are countless people and organizations that are helping these children.  One of them in our area is called, "Break the Cycle"., in Orangevale.  It is run by one woman, Averen Bareggi, who makes jewelry to raise not only awareness but also funds to create and distribute "comfort packs" that are given to law enforcement and other agencies for children reporting abuse. 
These bags are filled with all kinds of things to encourage creativity and comfort.  Things like:  art supplies, children's help books, a Curious George CD, bean bags, journals, gift cards to fun activities and a hand-stamped BRAVE bracelet (made by Averen).
We can help by filling the bags with a couple of the things that go in them. 
For all of you NON-SEWERS...purchase a plain, blank journal and embellish it.  Cover it with fabric, pretty papers or stickers.  Mod-Podge works great for this project! Use your imagination...get creative!
For those of you who DO SEW...Bean bags!  Please use fun, kid friendly fabrics and fill them with natural materials like rice, beans or peas (no plastic little balls, please).  No larger than about 5" x 5".
And, then if you really want to sew, make the drawstring-backpacks for the items to go in.  Please use a sturdy, plain canvas-like material.    HERE is a link to show the construction of the backpack style that is needed.  Please, make them 10" x 12" in size.
For more information on the actual items and to see the bags, please visit Break the Cycle website.  There is a great video of Averen, telling about the backpacks. 
SO...crafty people!  Let's get going and help give a little comfort to some kids. 
Deadline:  March 15th  April 1st
For those of you local and you want to sew...please contact us for fabric!

Let us know when you are finished with your project, via email or comment and we'll collect them!

*(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006)
**(Smith et al., 2000; Broman-Fulks et al., 2007)
***Elliot, M., Browne, K., & Kilcoyne, J. (1995). Child sexual abuse prevention: What offenders tell us. Child Abuse & Neglect, 5, 579-594
****Kilpatrick, D., Saunders, B.W., & Smith, D. (2003). Youth victimization: Prevalence and implications. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice Report.

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