MEDFORD, Ore. -- According to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network or RAINN, 63,000 children a year are victims of sexual abuse and often, those children know their abusers.
Statistics on RAINN’s website said only about seven percent of reported child sex abusers are strangers. That means more than 90 percent of those reported sex abusers are people the victim know. Nearly 34% were family members and more than half were family friends.
“By knowing their victims or knowing the people that are in their lives, they know which people are more likely to keep a secret, which people are more likely to tell right away,” said the Executive Director of Jackson County’s Children’s Advocacy Center.
Pitzen added those percentages are probably higher because so many cases of sexual violence, abuse or assault are not reported.
"We know that 30% of all sexual assault of children goes unreported. We know that number because as adults they seek therapy and we know it's probably higher than that because not everybody seeks therapy right so it's hard to gauge," Pitzen said and gave reasons why victims do not come forward about their assault.
The number one reason is they're worried no one will believe them.
"We work harder to disprove that a sexual assault or sex abuse has happened than we do to believe the person whose saying that it happened," Pitzen said.
She added another reason children in particular do not come forward is they're worried something else will happen to them, they don't want to hurt their parents or even their abuser.
"Particularly when it’s a parent or a step parent, that's doing the abuse or someone who’s popular -- a popular teacher, a popular coach, they just want the abuse to stop. They don't want bad things to happen to the offender, so sometimes that does create a barrier for a child or a minor to make a report," Pitzen added.
She also said there are many signs a child could have been sexually abused but the best way to learn if they have to ask open ended questions and be supportive.
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