Gary is Leaving for Valhalla

Our Hearts Hurt For His Family and those close to Gary It is a horrible loss to us all He will be greatly missed .

Gary Yarbrough's Blog

The prison just called me. They told me to get myself and Gary’s immediate family to the prison. They are arranging a special visit because Gary is on his way to leaving this Earth. The counselor is calling me back in the morning to let me know the special visit is being set up because Gary is to sick to make it to the visiting room so special arrangements are being made. Please light a candle or say a prayer for him. My heart is breaking, as is many other people’s.

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Kids can’t vote, kids can’t drink, kids can’t go into the military, can’t even drive are not old enough to decide if they wanna drop out of school are not considered old enough to make any life decisions yet the left want to play on their emotions and use them in the gun control battle. Half the people at these marches really had no clue as to why they were there except that they were there to support these kids who all of a sudden have been given a voice when no one listens any other time except when it fits their side.

It is a horrific thing when an evil individual feels they have the need and right to take lives like this but lets lay blame where it truly belongs. That is the one who did this the law enforcement who failed to act when they were warned and the coward cops who should be imprisoned for the remainder of there lives for not doing what they were paid to do. Why should any of them be aloud to see their families again when these victims families don’t get to see theirs. The difference here is the victims were not trained to protect themselves and the coward officers who hid outside were they gave a false sense of security to these victims and their families.

if one of them would have pulled their gun and defended the lives of these victims then there would not be 17 of them. I have two children of my own 4 step children and 5 grand babies NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY MY RIGHT TO PROTECT THEM NO ONE!


April Is Autism Awareness Month



Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. This year we want to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators to become partners in movement toward acceptance and appreciation.

Let’s embrace a new perspective. For over 50 years we have worked in communities (both large and small) to ensure our actions, through our services and programming, supported all individuals living with autism. Let’s expand this work to focus on the rest of us – ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that results in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to a society where those with ASDs are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.

Join us in celebration for 2018 National Autism Awareness Month! National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.

How is it celebrated?

What can I do?


Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can’t find an event that suits you just right, create your own!

sff_logo_157x150Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month.

Donate to the Autism Society: Help improve the lives of all impacted by autism with a financial gift to the Autism Society. Every dollar raised by the Autism Society allows us to improve the capabilities and services of our over 100 nationwide affiliates, provide the best national resource database and contact center specializing in autism, and increase public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with ASD and their families.


April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.

More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can affect all aspects of a person’s life.  Long-term alcohol use can cause serious health complications, can damage emotional stability, finances, career, and impact one’s family, friends and community.

Facts About Alcohol:

  • 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
  • Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
  • Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death
  • Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption

Over time, excessive alcohol use, both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, can lead to numerous health problems, chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems, including but not limited to:

    • Dementia, stroke and neuropathy
    • Cardiovascular problems, including myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and hypertension
    • Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide
    • Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, family problems, violence including child maltreatment, fights and homicide
    • Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
    • Increased risk for many kinds of cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box) and esophagus
    • Liver diseases, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis
    • Gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and gastritis
    • Alcohol abuse or dependence – alcoholism.

Alcoholism has little to do with what kind of alcohol one drinks, how long one has been drinking, or even exactly how much alcohol one consumes.  But it has a great deal to do with a person’s uncontrollable need for alcohol.  Most alcoholics can’t just “use a little willpower” to stop drinking.  The alcoholic is frequently in the grip of a powerful craving for alcohol, a need that can feel as strong as the need for food or water.  While some people are able to recover without help, the majority of alcoholics need outside assistance to recover from their disease.  Yet, with support and treatment, many are able to stop drinking and reclaim their lives.




Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can disrupt fetal development at any stage during a woman’s pregnancy — including the earliest stages before she even knows that she is pregnant. Whether it is a wine cooler, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, any kind or amount of alcohol that a pregnant mother consumes is also being consumed by her unborn baby, as alcohol in the mother’s blood passes through the placenta and enters the embryo or fetus through the umbilical cord. Through a number of biological means, alcohol can affect the size, shape, and function of the cells that form the brain, the heart, the kidneys, and all other body organs and systems of the fetus.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. It is often a hidden disability that can be hard to diagnose, making it difficult to provide affected individuals and their families the support they desperately need. It is not a diagnostic term used by clinicians, but refers to a range of specific conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

FASD is most often identified by abnormal facial features, central nervous system problems and slowness of growth. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities ranging from mild to severe and can have life-long implications.

You don’t have to be a heavy drinker to have a baby affected by alcohol, as there is no absolute safe amount of alcohol that a woman can drink during pregnancy. The risks of FASD increase as the amount of alcohol consumed increases, and risks are highest for women who binge drink (5 or more drinks on one drinking occasion).

The best option is not to drink any alcohol if you are pregnant. It’s also important to refrain from drinking if planning a pregnancy, since many women do not realize or find out they are pregnant until the first or second month into their pregnancies. The sooner a woman quits drinking, the better it will be for both her and her baby.

FASD cannot be cured

FASD cannot be cured, but with proper diagnosis, treatment, and a support network of family and friends, many people with an FASD can learn coping skills and have an improved quality of life.

The cost factor of raising a child with an FASD is significant. Researchers have found that, for a child with identified FAS, incurred health costs were nine times higher than for children without an FASD. The lifetime cost of caring for a person with FAS is estimated to be at least $2 million, and the overall annual cost of FASD to the U.S. healthcare system to be more than $6 billion.

Says the Institute of Medicine, “Of all substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus.”

The good news is FASD is not hereditary and only occurs if a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy. In other words, FASD is 100% preventable.


NCADD Alcohol & Drug-Related Birth Defects Awareness Week: Each May, NCADD and our National Network of Affiliates play a major and vital role across the US in educating people, especially women, about the dangers of consuming alcohol and using drugs during pregnancy. For more information, visit: NCADD Alcohol & Drug-Related Birth Defects Awareness Week.

The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that should not be ignored or minimized. If left untreated, use and abuse can develop into drug dependence or alcoholism. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse early. If you’re worried about your own drug or alcohol use, or that of a friend or family member, here are some of the warning signs to look for:

The following symptoms are associated with alcohol use disorder:

  • Temporary blackouts or memory loss.
  • Recurrent arguments or fights with family members or friends as well as irritability, depression, or mood swings.
  • Continuing use of alcohol to relax, to cheer up, to sleep, to deal with problems, or to feel “normal.”
  • Headache, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, or other unpleasant symptoms when one stops drinking.
  • Flushed skin and broken capillaries on the face; a husky voice; trembling hands; bloody or black/tarry stools or vomiting blood; chronic diarrhea.
  • Drinking alone, in the mornings, or in secret.

Signs of addiction include the following:

  • Loss of Control: Drinking or drugging more than a person wants to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.
  • Neglecting Other Activities: Spending less time on activities that used to be important (hanging out with family and friends, exercising, pursuing hobbies or other interests) because of the use of alcohol or drugs; drop in attendance and performance at work or school.
  • Risk Taking: More likely to take serious risks in order to obtain one’s drug of choice.
  • Relationship Issues: People struggling with addiction are known to act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone is attempting to address their substance problems; complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
  • Secrecy: Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs or alcohol consumed or one’s activities when drinking or drugging; unexplained injuries or accidents.
  • Changing Appearance: Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance – lack of showering, slovenly appearance, unclean clothes.
  • Family History: A family history of addiction can dramatically increase one’s predisposition to substance abuse.
  • Tolerance: Over time, a person’s body adapts to a substance to the point that they need more and more of it in order to have the same reaction.
  • Withdrawal: As the effect of the alcohol or drugs wear off the person may experience symptoms such as: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Even though it is causing problems (on the job, in relationships, for one’s health), a person continues drinking and drugging.


Do you suspect that your child is abusing alcohol or using drugs?  Are you worried?  Have you noticed some changes with your child?  As a parent, it is normal to be concerned.

Here are some of the warning signs to look for:

Physical and health signs of drug abuse

  • Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
  • Frequent nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.  Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Seizures without a history of epilepsy.
  • Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
  • Impaired coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they won’t or can’t tell you about-  they don’t know how they got hurt.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.

Behavioral signs of alcohol or drug abuse

  • Skipping class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school.
  • Drop in attendance and performance at work–loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise–decreased motivation.
  • Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
  • Missing money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing money.
  • Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Clashes with family values and beliefs.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters.
  • Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
  • Using incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs.
  • Using eyedrops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.

Psychological warning signs of alcohol or drug abuse

  • Unexplained, confusing change in personality and/or attitude.
  • Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
  • Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appears fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.

All Info from:

April Is National Child Abuse Awarness Month



Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is preventable. It is a severe form of physical child abuse resulting from violent shaking of an infant by the shoulders, arms, or legs. SBS may result from both shaking alone or from shaking with impact.

Babies, newborn to one year (especially babies ages 2 to 4 months), are at greatest risk of injury from shaking. Shaking them violently can trigger a “whiplash” effect that can lead to internal injuries—including bleeding in the brain or in the eyes. Often there are no obvious external physical signs, such as bruising or bleeding, to indicate an injury.

The number one reason a child is shaken is because a parent or caregiver becomes so frustrated with a baby’s crying that they lose control and just shake them. They are usually average people, who in the heat of their frustration and anger lose control and shake their child. Most people charged with shaking their baby have no previous history of violence and the act is unintended. Read more from the CDC’s Shaken Baby Syndrome, A Preventative Tragedy.

It is estimated that approximately 306 babies die unnecessarily each year in the United States due to Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), and as many as 1,000 to 3,000 babies suffer severe irreversible brain injury. Approximately 20/100,000 children sustain AHT annually.


Courtesy of


It is important for the primary caretaker to stay calm, and try to take at least 15 minutes alone each day to do something relaxing and enjoyable. Ask your partner, family or friends to take care of the baby while you take care of yourself; it’s difficult to be calm and at your best when you are overtired and stressed.

A thirty minute brisk walk is an easy way to stay fit, get a mood boost from raised endorphin levels, and effectively reduces tension. When caretakers can walk together, they have the added benefit of nurturing their relationship, as well.

When the primary caretaker learns how to breathe deeply, become aware of how stress is held in the body, and utilizes relaxation and visualization or other mindfulness techniques on a regular basis, both caretaker and child benefit significantly: When the caretaker is more relaxed, the child’s sense of well being, trust and secure attachment to the parent is enhanced.



In the U.S.: National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
In the U.S.: National Parent Helpline® 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736)
In the U.S.: 24 hour Parent Helpline: 1-888-435-7553
In the U.S.: Crying Baby Hotline: 1-866-243-2229
In the U.S.: Fussy Baby Warmline: 1-888-431-BABY
In the U.S.: National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
In the U.K.: Parentline: 0808 800 2222 or Lifeline: 0114 272 6575
In Australia: Parentline: 1300 30 1300
In Canada: Parent Helpline: 1-800-668-6868


What Is Child Abuse?

Child abuse takes many forms, physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, neglect, exploitation, and more. When we speak of child abuse, we normally first think of physical abuse, spankings, and whoopings, but the shocking truth is that neglect is the number one form of child abuse in America. More children die from neglect every year, than any other form of childhood maltreatment.


Any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child, or an act or failure to act presenting an imminent risk of serious harm to a child.


  • Physical Abuse: Physical hitting, unlawful corporal punishment or injury.
  • Neglect: General and severe, lack of basic needs, malnutrition.
  • Emotional Abuse: Causing psychological or emotional instability.
  • Verbal Abuse: Yelling, screaming, belittling, bullying, cursing.
  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual assault, pornography, exploitation.
  • Child Safety: Willfully harming or endangering a child, hot cars.
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome: Shaking causes death or permanent brain damage.
  • Domestic Violence: Dysfunctional or violent home or family.
  • Substance Abuse: Parent or caregiver’s personal drug & alcohol abuse.
  • Abandonment: Parent’s identity or whereabouts unknown, no support.


Any intentional, non-accidental physical injury to a child, including: striking, kicking, burning, biting, cutting, poking, twisting limbs, shaking, throwing, or torturing a child.

General neglect is the failure of a parent or caregiver to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, nurturing, or supervision whereby a child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm. Severe neglect results from negligent failure to protect the child from severe malnutrition or medically diagnosed non-organic failure to thrive.

The failure of a parent or caregiver to provide adequate nurturing or positive interaction to a child, causing injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability of the child, observable as a substantial change in behavior, emotional response, cognition, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior.

Verbal abuse includes, belittling, screaming, threats, blaming, sarcasm, bullying, harsh and insulting language, unpredictable responses, continual negative moods, constant family discord, and chronically communicating conflicting messages to children.

Any violation, exploitation, or sexual activity with a child to provide sexual gratification or financial benefit to the perpetrator. This includes contact for sexual purposes, molestation, statutory rape, prostitution, pornography, exposure, incest, or other sexually exploitative activities.

Child safety is a subset of child neglect, and includes leaving young children and babies unsupervised, or leaving children in locked cars with the window up. Hot cars can be lethal to young children. Young children should never be left unsupervised anywhere for any length of time.

It is a severe form of physical child abuse resulting from violent shaking of an infant or young child by the shoulders, arms, or legs. SBS may result from both shaking alone or from shaking with impact, often resulting in permanent irreversible brain damage or death. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is preventable. NEVER shake a baby!

Children exposed to violence in the home or among family members, undergo lasting physical, mental, and emotional harm. They suffer from difficulties with attachment, regressive behavior, anxiety and depression, and aggression and conduct problems.

Use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and controlled substances by a parent or caregiver impairs their ability to adequately care for a child. Use of these substances during pregnancy cause prenatal harm to the fetus. Babies are born addicted to the same drug’s as the mother has taken throughout the pregnancy. Exposing a child to the chemicals, equipment, or manufacture of illicit drugs, and selling, distributing, or giving drugs or alcohol to a minor child.

Is defined as the parent’s identity or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left by the parent in circumstances in which the child suffers serious harm, or the parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or to provide reasonable support for a specified period of time.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that definitions of child abuse and neglect vary by state, which is one of the problems in under-reporting and preventing child maltreatment. The Center for Disease Control has proposed more uniform definitions. It is also worth noting that child abuse in any form is a civil and criminal offense. Therefore, to protect children and parents, American SPCC recommends that all parents and caregivers seek information and education promoting the positive care of children and positive parenting skills.



Child abuse comes in many forms. Different types of abuse and neglect have different physical and behavioral indicators.



  • On face, lips, mouth
  • On torso, back, buttocks, thighs
  • In various stages of healing
  • Cluster, forming regular patterns
  • Reflecting shape of article used to inflict (electric cord, belt buckle)
  • On several different surface areas
  • Regularly appear after absence, weekend or vacation


  • Cigar, cigarette burns, especially on soles, palms, back or buttocks
  • Immersion burns (sock-like, glove-like doughnut shaped on buttocks or genitalia)
  • Patterned like electric burner, iron, etc.
  • Rope burns on arms, legs, neck or torso


  • To skull, nose, facial structure
  • In various stages of healing
  • Multiple or spiral fractures


  • To mouth, lips, gums, eyes
  • To limbs and buttocks
  • To external genitalia


  • Wary of adult contact
  • Apprehensive when other children cry


  • Aggressiveness
  • Withdrawal
  • Frightened of parents
  • Afraid to go home
  • Reports injury by parents



  • Consistent hunger, poor hygiene, inappropriate dress
  • Consistent lack of supervision, especially in dangerous activities or long periods
  • Constant fatigue or listlessness
  • Unattended physical problems or medical needs
  • Abandonment


  • Begging, stealing food
  • Extended stays at school (early arrival and late departure)
  • Constantly falling asleep in class
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Delinquency (e.g. thefts)
  • States there is no caregiver



  • Habit disorders (sucking, biting, rocking, etc.)
  • Conduct disorders (antisocial, destructible, etc.)
  • Neurotic traits (sleep disorders, speech disorders, inhibition of play)



  • Compliant, passive
  • Aggressive, demanding


  • Inappropriately adult behavior
  • Inappropriately infant behavior



  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Pain or itching in genital area
  • Bruises or bleeding in external genitalia, vaginal or anal areas
  • Venereal disease, especially in pre-teen’s
  • Pregnancy


  • Unwilling to change for gym or participate in PE
  • Withdrawn, fantasy or infantile behavior
  • Bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual behavior or knowledge
  • Poor peer-to-peer relationships
  • Delinquent or run away
  • Reports sexual assault by caregiver

Information Courtesy of the Department of Children and Families, NJ | 2014



As ECM, a non-profit, (Every Child Matters Education Fund) President Michael Petit wrote in a news essay published by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The child maltreatment death rate in the US is triple Canada’s and 11 times that of Italy. Millions of children are reported as abused and neglected every year.”


American children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. National child abuse estimates are well known for being under-reported. The latest 2015 Child Maltreatment Report from The Children’s Bureau was published in January 2017. The report shows an increase in child abuse referrals from 3.6 million to 4 million. The number of children involved subsequently increased to 7.2 million from 6.6 million. The report also indicates an increase in child deaths from abuse and neglect to 1,670 in 2015, up from 1,580 in 2014.1 Some reports estimate child abuse fatalities at 1,740 or even higher.3

The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average almost five (5) children every day to c3hild abuse and neglect.1,2


  • 4 million child maltreatment referral reports received.1
  • Child abuse reports involved 7.2 million children.1
  • 3.4 million children received prevention & post-response services.1
  • 207,000 children received foster care services.1
  • 75.3% of victims are neglected.1
  • 17.2% of victims are physically abused.1
  • 8.4% of victims are sexually abused.1
  • 6.9% of victims are psychologically maltreated.1
  • Highest rate of child abuse in children under one (24.2% per 1,000).1
  • Over one-quarter (27.%) of victims are younger than 3 years.1
  • Annual estimate: 1,670 to 1740 children died from abuse and neglect.1,3
  • Almost five children die every day from child abuse.1,2
  • 80% of child fatalities involve at least one parent.1
  • 74.8% of child fatalities are under the age of 3.1
  • 72.9% of the child abuse victims die from neglect.1
  • 43.9% of the child abuse victims die from physical abuse.1
  • 49.4% of children who die from child abuse are under one year.1
  • Almost 60,000 children are sexually abused.1
  • More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator.6
  • Estimated that between 50-60% of maltreatment fatalities are not recorded on death certificates.5
  • Child abuse crosses all socioeconomic and educational levels, religions, ethnic and cultural groups.1


Child Abuse Statistics - 2015 Child Maltreatment Report Victims by Age


  • 14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population. 8
  • Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity. 6


  • Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.6
  • Abused teens are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking, putting them at greater risk for STDs.6
  • About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.7
  • In at least one study, about 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.15
  • The financial cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States is estimated at $585 billion.8


  • Alcohol abuse (parent/caregiver)—the compulsive use of alcohol that is not of a temporary nature.1
  • Drug abuse (parent/caregiver)—the compulsive use of drugs that is not of a temporary nature.1
  • Domestic violence (parent/caregiver)–abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another.1


  • 1/3 to 2/3 of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.12
  • In one study, children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families.12
  • Two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse report being abused or neglected as children.10
  • More than a third of adolescents with a report of abuse or neglect will have a substance use disorder before their 18th birthday, three times as likely as those without a report of abuse or neglect.13
  • 10.3% – 15.8% of children have a parent/caregiver alcohol abuse risk factor.1
  • 25.4% – 33.5% of children have a parent/caregiver drug abuse risk factor.1
  • 25.0% – 33.2% of children have a domestic violence abuse risk factor.1

Information Courtesy of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, Childhelp USA, Centers for Disease Control, and more. References listed below.


April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Get Statistics

Sexual Assault in the United States

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)
  • In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
  • 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance (a)
  • 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger (a)
  • Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)
  • 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male (m)
  • In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator (j)
  • Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work (c)

Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault

  • The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)
  • Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)
  • 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)
  • Health care is 16% higher for women who were sexually abused as children and 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as children (k)

Child Sexual Abuse

  • One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old (d)
  • 30% of women were between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of their first completed rape (a)
  • 12.3% of women were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)
  • 27.8% of men were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization (a)
  • More than one third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adult (a)
  • 96% of people who sexually abuse children are male, and 76.8% of people who sexually abuse children are adults (l)
  • 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child (l)
  • It is estimated that 325,000 children per year are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial child sexual exploitation (k)
  • The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14 years old, and the average age at which boys first become victims of prostitution is 11-13 years old (k)
  • Only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the authorities (f)

Campus Sexual Assault

  • 20% – 25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college (b)
  • A 2002 study revealed that 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes (h)
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault (b)
  • 27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact (e)
  • Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment (p)

Crime Reports

  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports (i). A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports (h). Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports (g).


About Sexual Assault

Sexual violence happens in every community and affects people of all genders and ages. Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact. This includes words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent. A person may use force, threats, manipulation, or coercion to commit sexual violence.

Forms of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Child sexual assault and incest
  • Sexual assault by a person’s spouse or partner
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent
  • Masturbating in public
  • Watching someone engage in private acts without their knowledge or permission
  • Nonconsensual image sharing

There is a social context that surrounds sexual violence. Social norms that condone violence, use power over others, traditional constructs of masculinity, the subjugation of women, and silence about violence and abuse contribute to the occurrence of sexual violence. Oppression in all of its forms is among the root causes of sexual violence. Sexual violence is preventable through collaborations of community members at multiple levels of society—in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith settings, workplaces, and other settings. We all play a role in preventing sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, safety, equality, and helping others.

What is consent?

Consent must be freely given and informed, and a person can change their mind at any time.

Consent is more than a yes or no. It is a dialogue about desires, needs, and level of comfort with different sexual interactions.

Who does sexual violence impact?

Victims of sexual violence include people of all ages, races, genders, and religions — with and without disabilities.

  • Nearly one in five women in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape some time in their lives (Black et al., 2011).
  • In the United States, one in 71 men have experienced rape or attempted rape (Black et al., 2011).
  • An estimated 32.3% of multiracial women, 27.5% of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 21.2% of non-Hispanic black women, 20.5% of non-Hispanic white women, and 13.6% of Hispanic women were raped during their lifetimes (Black et al., 2011).

Victims often know the person who sexually assaulted them.

People who sexually abuse usually target someone they know.

  • Nearly three out of four adolescents (74%) who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well (Kilpatrick, Saunders, & Smith, 2003).
  • One-fifth (21.1%) were committed by a family member (Kilpatrick, Saunders, & Smith, 2003).

Victims are never at fault.

Choosing to violate another person is not about “drinking too much,”  “trying to have a good time,” or ”getting carried away,” nor is it about the clothes someone was wearing, how they were acting, or what type of relationship they have with the person who abused them. Violating another person is a choice.

Rape is often not reported or convicted.

A person may choose not to report to law enforcement or tell anyone about a victimization they experienced for many reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • a fear of not being believed
  • being afraid of retaliation
  • shame or fear of being blamed
  • pressure from others
  • distrust towards law enforcement
  • a desire to protect the attacker for other reasons

The Impact of Sexual Violence

The impact of sexual violence extends beyond the individual survivor and reaches all of society.

Impact on survivors

An assault may impact a survivor’s daily life no matter when it happened. Each survivor reacts to sexual violence in their own way. Common emotional reactions include guilt, shame, fear, numbness, shock, and feelings of isolation.

Physical impacts may include personal injuries, concerns about pregnancy, or risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Economic impacts of sexual violence include medical and other expenses in addition to things like time off work. The long-term psychological effects survivors may face if their trauma is left untreated include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, isolation, and others.

Impact on loved ones

Sexual violence can affect parents, friends, partners, children, spouses, and/or coworkers of the survivor. As they try to make sense of what happened, loved ones may experience similar reactions and feelings to those of the survivor such as fear, guilt, self-blame, and anger.

Impact on communities

Schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, campuses, and cultural or religious communities may feel fear, anger, or disbelief when sexual assault happens in their community. Violence of all kinds destroys a sense of safety and trust.  There are financial costs to communities including medical services, criminal justice expenses, crisis and mental health service fees, and the lost contributions of individuals affected by sexual violence.

Impact on society

The contributions and achievements that may never come as a result of sexual violence represent a cost to society that cannot be measured. Sexual violence weakens the basic pillars of safety and trust that people long to feel in their communities because it creates an environment of fear and oppression.

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that individual victims of sexual violence incur $122,461 over a lifetime in costs associated with lost wages, health, criminal justice, and property damage (Peterson et al., 2017). Additional research shows that sexual violence can derail a person’s education and employment, resulting in a $241,600 income loss over a lifetime (MacMillan, 2000).

Sexual assault and the related trauma response can disrupt survivors’ employment in several ways, including time off, diminished performance, job loss, and inability to work (Loya, 2014).

In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alone recovered $164.5 million for workers alleging harassment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016). Indirect costs for employers include decreased productivity, higher turnover, and reputation damage.


What You Can Do

There are many ways for survivors to heal from sexual assault. For some survivors, part of the healing process involves:

  • getting involved in efforts to support other survivors,
  • raising awareness about sexual violence,
  • working towards preventing sexual violence, and
  • getting involved to change laws and policies about the crimes of sexual violence and the treatment of survivors.

Every survivor should consider the impact that such work can have on their own healing process. Only you can judge if you are ready to get involved, but we encourage you to work with someone you trust, like a rape crisis counselor or a trusted friend, to help determine when you may be ready to get involved and what activities would be the best fit for you. If you need to find your local rape crisis center, RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline can also put you in touch with a local support source of support and advice.

RAINN also provides excellent advice and information about the process of recovering from sexual violence on their website.

Learn more about healing from sexual violence.

When You Are Ready

There are many ways you can use your experience with sexual violence to help others. These are just a few to consider:

  • Become an advocate for survivors. Use what you’ve learned from your healing process to help others having a similar experience. Although every survivor’s path is unique, your own first-hand knowledge of your process can help you to better relate to the unique experiences other survivors are having. The best way to become an advocate is to reach out to your local rape crisis center and inquire about volunteering as an advocate. Advocates usually answer telephone calls from survivors and may also provide support to survivors during forensic exams or court proceedings.
  • Become an activist. The services and support available to survivors today exist because of decades of activism. There is no one way to become an activist for social changes that end sexual violence, but many people begin their activism by finding like-minded people in their community and working together to raise awareness about sexual violence and advocate for change through organizing art projects, performances, marches, or speaking to lawmakers. V-DayDenim Day, and Take Back the Night are good examples of community events where many activists get their start. Contact your local rape crisis center to see how you can get involved in your local community. If you are a college student, SAFER has many resources you can use to create change on your campus.
  • Speak out. Many survivors become interested in speaking publicly about their experience. This guide from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape will introduce you to the many things survivors should think about before pursuing public speaking. If you are ready to share your story, consider joining RAINN’s Speaker Bureau.