From 8-12 years old Paola was abused by her
step-father every day and eventually gave
birth to his child. Now after living in a Buckner
Transition home in Guatemala, she is finally
healing and learning to become a chef.
It is estimated that 150 million girls all over
the world have experienced sexual abuse like
Paola. A report of child abuse happens every
ten seconds in the United States. In high
income countries, it is estimated that 4 to
16 percent of children are victims of abuse.
Only 1 in 10 of these cases is reported.
Children who are abused tend to develop a
low self-esteem. As abused children grow older emotional and behavioral
problems are also most likely to arise.
Physical, sexual and emotional abuse are the most well known, but other
exploitations of children occur all over the world. An estimated 158 million
children are forced into commercial labor; this prevents the children from
receiving an education and leads to other forms of exploitation and abuse.
Another form of child exploitation is trafficking. An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys have experienced sexual violence and exploitation. These
forms of exploitation happen more often in less developed countries. Neglect
is the most prevalent form of abuse in the United States and is defined as a
type of maltreatment that refers to the failure by the caregiver to provided
needed, age-appropriate care although financially able to do so.
Foster care and adoption services provide opportunities for children to live
in a safe and stable family environment, and transitional programs are also
available for young adults who have often experienced abuse and are now
transitioning to adulthood. And our Family Place and Family Pathways
programs provide safe housing for single mothers who have often been
abused, helping them achieve higher education and provide for their families.
In Guatemala, Buckner is pioneering a program with International Justice
Mission to provide safety, counseling and support services for victims of
sex trafficking and sexual abuse. All these programs and more are making significant impact on the lives of
children and families.