What happens after a child’s initial disclosure is crucial. The first person that child discloses to needs to believe enough to report. Once a report is made,police officers need to believe enough to pursue a thorough investigation. Once a case is in front of a jury, they need to beableto believe this crime could happen.Because we know, it is incredibly rare that a child makes upor lies aboutallegations of sexual abuse.If one – just one – of thosemanypeoplearen’twillingto believe, the consequencescan besevere.
These consequences extendfarbeyond the personal impactsexualabuse has on a survivor. As a result of theNassarinvestigation, USA Gymnastics filed bankruptcy. Multiple high level officials lost their jobs or were forced to resign. MSU was left to deal with the attention and fallout.
The cost of not believing kids is too high.
How high, you ask? Let megive you an idea.
Thesepreliminaryfacts and figures don’t account for other costs, like keepinga courthouse up and running. When you think of how many days Larry spent in court and the extra fees associated with prosecuting a high profile case… I’m sure it’s ahugenumber.It also doesn’t account for the time, money, and energy spent by survivors and their families to take timefrom work, pay for a sitter,and arrangetransportation,etc.…all so theycanreceivetherapeutictreatment, go to medical appointments, and ultimately testify.
The cost of not believing kids is too high. The cost of believing kids isn’t.
The cost of believing kids is the cost of supporting CARE House.Supporting your child advocacy center is a way for communities to hold offenders accountable when a shred of doubt or disbelief made it impossible for the law to do so.Supporting your child advocacy center is supportinga safe space for survivorsto healin the aftermath of abuse.
Believedis a powerful reminder thattheeffectsof abuse on a survivor, their family, and their community cannot be measured or calculated.But a donation to CARE House and a willingness to believe kids can,and no matter small or greatthis is,the impact on a child is life changing.