New survey sheds light on child sex abuse perspectives

ReVille (File)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A new survey conducted by Charleston nonprofit Darkness to Light shows Americans feel ill-equipped to address child sex abuse issues.

Darkness to Light (D2L), a nonprofit that aims to empower adults to try to prevent child sexual abuse, released the results of a survey that measured American adults' awareness of, and capacity to, address child sexual abuse.

The survey, conducted online between July 13 and July 15 2012,{}by independent firm KRC Research,{}questioned 1,000 nationally representative American adults. It{}revealed:

-92% of adults recognize that the issue of child sexual abuse is a problem-- BUT:

-Only 36% believe that people know the right person or organization to turn to, if they learn a child is being victimized. AND:

- Only 25% of respondents believe people are able to recognize the signs of abuse.

-94% agree Americans should know more about how to properly handle cases of child sexual abuse.

-81% say they personally would like to know more about how to spot signs that a child is being sexually abused.

-77% believe most cases of child sexual abuse go unreported.

-44% of Americans believe that organizations have policies about speaking out about child sexual abuse.

- Respondents believe that organizations are more likely to have a dress code than a set of procedures for reporting sexual abuse.

Cindy Mcelhinney from darkness to light, stresses education is key in preventing child sexual abuse cases such as the Sandusky trial and, locally, the Skip ReVille case.

"What we've seen as a result of Penn State and here in our community with the Skip Reville case is that now more than ever, there's a willingness to not only to acknowledge there's a problem, but there's a willingness to hear about it and talk about it and recognize that we all have a responsibility to protect children,"{}Mcelhinney said.

The full results of the survey can be found here.

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