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Fit And Well Idaho: Child Abuse

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) These are startling statistics ... One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years of age. Standing by and not reporting suspected child abuse is against the law. So how do we taken action?

We are all mandated reporters. If a child comes to you regarding child abuse, it's your job to report it.

Today thousands of children will enter an advocacy center with the courage to talk about the unimaginable because an adult was there. Are you the one with courage?

One with Courage is an initiative centered around the courage it takes to talk about child abuse. In the past, children were the ones to report abuse, but now it's the adult's responsibility.

Letti Hernandez, LPN and CARES Victim Advocate says, "it is our job as parents, as mentors and as educators to be aware of signs of abuse because we see these children on a daily basis."

Hernandez works for St. Luke's Magic Valley Cares. As she explains, not talking about child abuse, can be a pathway for disaster.

"The misconceptions are people don't want to talk about it, but it's real and its' out there. And we do need to talk about it, the less children will be abused, explains Hernandez.

Here are some do's and don'ts if a child outcries.
Do believe the child.
Don't press him or her to talk.
Do show interest and concern.
Don't confront the offender.
Do take action.
Don't overwhelm the child with questions.

"I think it's very important because of the incidences that do happen," adds Hernandez.

Understanding the nature of child abuse and bringing awareness are ways we can combat the issue.

CARES can come facilitate to schools, daycare or church communities.
The training for stewards of children is held once a month.