Monday, December 13, 2010

An Era of Change

Elizabeth Smart's father, Ed had told Matt Lauer that she wants to be a voice for other victims and will pursue law school in hopes of being a prosecutor.  Shortly after the verdict was read in the trial against Brian David Mitchell, she said, "she was proof that there is life after a painful past."  With the support of her family, Elizabeth Smart has made the shift from victim to survivor.  The crime that occurred with the abduction of Elizabeth from her bedroom is rare in contrast to the numbers of children victimized by most child abusers.  As newer statistics show that about 90 % of child victims knew their perpetrators in some form or fashion.  Therefore, the other 10 percent is often the concept of random crimes and often confused with the regular violence against children.

Some child abductions have become parental custody issues, which complicates the legal proceedings for many victims of child sexual abuse as confusion in the system occurs.  Parents abusing their children with manipulation is often the undercurrent of those kids who are suffering from family sexual abuse.  National statistics have shown that CSA has declined over the years since the onset of awareness during the Eighties.  According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (, estimate a 40% decline since 1992 to 2000 in the article written by David Finkelhor and Lisa M. Jones.  Leaders on Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention have helped and made small strides to a now commonly known epidemic.  The researchers of the last few decades have become extremely knowledgeable and more or less have let child victims arise from the battle fields.

An article from addresses stranger abductions.  For those who want to learn about instincts in criminal confrontations, The Gift of Fear by leading securities expert, Gavin de Becker is another great resource.  Statistical information and support can also be found at The National Center for Victims of Crime website.  The first and foremost, healing must come from family or families of choice in support, for harmful secrets must come to light.  Elizabeth Smart's tribulations have been an inspiration for many others to see that truth and justice can prevail.

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