SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Statistics show that one in four girls, and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18-years-old.
Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana is working to lower those numbers by making sure the community knows what signs to look out for when children are being abused.
Tonight, the organization will be hosting free workshops across the state.
Shreveport’s workshop will be held at the Hamilton-South Caddo Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attendees will learn about detecting and reporting child sexual abuse, as well as learn how to prevent it by talking to children and minimizing opportunities for abuse to occur.
“It is video based, and it is survivor stories so some of the topics are difficult,” said program administrator, Jenny Forrest. “It’s touching, it’s moving, it’s hard to hear, but it brings out really really great discussions.”
Statistics show that 90% of sexual abuse a child faces comes from someone they know. 60% is from someone in the family or a community member, 30% is within the home and only 10% is with strangers.
“It’s not to make us be fearful of everybody or everything, but it is to help us be aware and to listen to children, and to know what to do if a child ever does disclose,” said Forrest. “All of those things really help us kind of stop it in its tracks and stop the re-traumatization for that child.”
Forrest says some signs to look out for is if a child has bruising or marks on parts of their bodies that they shouldn’t have. She also says people should check for a child’s use of “B” words like bumps, bruises, burns or black eyes.
“If you know a child and you know their regular routines and behaviors, and they’re starting to bully or they are isolating (themselves) or there are suicide attempts….these things might be things you want to be aware of,” she said.
Forrest says Shreveport and Monroe are places where they’ve seen a large number of reporting’s, so they are working to have a larger presence between the two cities.
If a child or parent needs to speak to someone Forrest says they offer a 24-hour KIDLINE. You can call that number at 1-800-244-5373.