Local Group Spreading Awareness of Sexual Abuse

ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Sexual abuse is never east to talk about and often goes unreported. Nationally, One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused each year and many times they know their abuser. In Kentucky there were over 4,000 reported victims of sexual assault last year. Many cases however, go unreported.

Hope's Place Director Brandi Bayes says in Ashland Kentucky, they don't only serve Kentucky, but they also provide free services for victims and their families in Ohio and West Virginia. "The bottom line of the matter is that it is in our community. If our round about number is 350 a year then you're looking at about one new kid a DAY that we our serving from Kentucky, from Ohio, from West Virginia, from our Tri-State area," she says.

At Hope's Place they get about 350 new cases a year ant that's nearly a new case each day. Bayes says when people know the warning signs, the number of known sexual assaults go up and those victims are able to get help. "I think that a lot of people are just so scared. What if I'm wrong? What if I'm wrong in suspecting that this child or this person is being abused? What if you're right? That's kind of the way we look at it. What if you're right and you do nothing. We haven't done any justice to our kids and to our community," she says.

A group called "Salt" is made up of community professionals and people who bring awareness to how often sex abuse actually happens. The group meets every last Monday of the month at Hope's Place at 12pm.

Hope's Place is located at 1100 Greenup Avenue, Ashland KY.

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