Sexual abuse/exploitation is one of the many reasons why a child may enter foster care. However, sexual abuse/exploitation does not always stop when foster care begins. In some cases, it starts. A 2001 study out of John Hopkins University found that young people in foster care are 4 times more likely to be sexually abused than their peers not in care; youth in group homes are 28 times more likely. Twenty-eight. Additionally, in 2013, more than half of the victims of sex trafficking recovered by the FBI were youth in foster care.
Foster care is meant to be a place of safety after abuse and/or neglect. In many cases, as evidenced by the statistics above, it is not. While there are professionals and, ideally, other caring adults who work diligently to protect and ensure the wellbeing of youth in foster care, it is not always enough, particularly when it comes to sexual abuse.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Learn more about sexual assault and abuse and how you can be a part of protecting young people at risk.