It Shouldn’t Hurt To Be A Child
By Anson Okimoto, president, Friends of Children’s Justice Center of Oahu
Picture for a moment a child on the brink of making one of the hardest decisions of his or her young life: reporting a case of sexual or physical abuse.
The Leahi Green girls’ soccer team (pictured in front in green T-shirts) got a kick out of spearheading a collection of roughly 1,000 slippers to raise awareness about Hawaii’s abused children during Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Prevention Month. Surrounding them are members of Friends of Children’s Justice Center of Oahu, Honolulu Police Department and other partnering agencies. Friends of Children’s Justice Center of Oahu photo
Statistics show that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday – and these are only the children we know about. Most children will never tell about their abuse, as they may feel trapped by the affection they feel for their abusers or fearful of the power the abusers have over them.
Friends of Children’s Justice Center of Oahu (Friends) is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 2010 and dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of Oahu’s abused children by protecting them from additional trauma and helping them heal.
The Friends supports Children’s Justice Center (CJC) of Oahu, a program established by statute under the Judiciary that has responded to child victims of abuse for more than 25 years. Funds and resources provided by the Friends enhance CJC’s ability to provide comprehensive, coordinated forensic interviews of children who are suspected victims of sexual abuse or serious physical abuse, or are witnesses to crimes.
A collaborative approach helps ensure that Oahu’s abused keiki are protected by a team of caring professionals who come together to listen and act while offering hope, encouragement and opportunity. We work with one child at a time and in one place so that a child needs to tell his or her story just once.
It shouldn’t hurt to be a child. If you know or suspect a child is being abused, please call the Child Protective Services Hotline at 832-5300.
For more information about Friends of Children’s Justice Center of Oahu, call 445-1873 or visit fcjcoahu.org.
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