Child Sex Abuse On The Rise In Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC- The Jerry Sandusky trial is shedding a light on a growing problem here in Charlotte.
Local counselors say they’re seeing an increase in child sex abuse victims.
"We don't think about suspecting our inner circles of abusing our children, yet that's when it occurs the most and children are most vulnerable," said Amanda United Family Services has counseled over 1,500 child sex abuse victims over the last year - 60 percent of them happen by a family member or trusted family-friend.
"Pay attention to your children. If they say they don't want to go somewhere, figure out why they don't want to go. You heard a lot of victims in the Sandusky case tell their parents they didn't want to go to his house or they didn't want to go to the locker room," said Wilson.
Wilson says most victims suffer in silence. Ninety percent of sexual assaults are unreported.
Pat's Place is an advocacy center working with children in Mecklenburg County. They evaluate sex abuse allegations by doing interviews and medical exams. The executive director says that since last year, the center is seeing 20 percent more child victims.
Wilson’s advice is to report anything you don't feel is right.
"You initiate an investigation that could be made false or it could be found that there's substantial evidence there. But at the end of the day, you've done your part as an adult. And that's what we all need to do," said Wilson.
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina says one in four girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused by age 18.