Women’s History Month has reached its end, but it is important to remember that uplifting women, fighting for equal rights, and advocating for women does not and should not end with the flip of a calendar page. There is still much work to be done, and as a nonprofit geared towards the success of abused and neglected children, we cannot ignore this fight in our advocacy towards the children we serve.
Looking at a snapshot of women’s adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the statistics are staggering. According to the CDC:
A significantly higher percentage of women of all races (ages 18-44) have experienced foster care than men, resulting in a difference of half a million
Women who have experienced foster care have significantly lower rates of educational attainment:
21.3% women who had been in foster care have no high school diploma or GED compared to 9.6% women who had never been in foster care
9.1% women who had been in foster care obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 36.2% women who had never been in foster care
About 1 in 4 girls experience child sexual abuse compared to 1 in 13 boys
Women who were sexually abused as children are at a 2-13 times increased risk of re-victimization in adulthood, and are at twice the risk for non-sexual intimate partner violence
Women who experience sexual abuse in childhood are at a 9 times increased risk of committing suicide than those without a history of childhood sexual abuse
Women and several racial/ethnic minorities are at a greater risk for having experienced 4 or more types of ACEs
These adverse childhood experiences are incredibly detrimental to a child’s growth and development, creating lasting negative effects on their mental health, physical health, and emotional well-being. Women and racial minority groups are overrepresented in ACEs data, which is compounded by the inequities they experience in society at large. This ultimately creates further barriers to their happiness and success.
So how can we help?
As suggested by the CDC, effective child abuse and neglect prevention strategies include (but are not limited to) strengthening economic support to families, providing quality care and education early in life, enhancing parenting skills to promote healthy childhood development, and intervening to lessen harms and prevent future risks--all strategies which CASA of CGS implements in our advocacy.
Through in-depth investigations of a CASA child’s case, our advocates recommend resources for the child and their parent(s) that serve the child’s best interests, with the ultimate goal of placing the child in a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible to ensure happiness, success, and prosperity.
As a CASA advocate, you can help advocate for the overall health, success, and happiness of young women and girls in our community who are disproportionately affected by child abuse and neglect.
Be the voice for young women and girls in need. Be a CASA Advocate.
Learn more about volunteering for CASA and apply by visiting our website at www.wespeakupforchildren.org. Reach out to Julia, our Recruitment and Training Coordinator, for any questions.