Kane County advocates unite to fight child abuse

  • Samantha Pfortmiller, from left, and Lea Conrad of the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, Ellen Kamps and Deb Dempsey of the Kane County Regional Office of Education, and Rocio Llamas of the Kane County Child Advocacy Center join hands for a moment of silence during CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse Thursday at the Third Street Courthouse in Geneva.

      Samantha Pfortmiller, from left, and Lea Conrad of the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, Ellen Kamps and Deb Dempsey of the Kane County Regional Office of Education, and Rocio Llamas of the Kane County Child Advocacy Center join hands for a moment of silence during CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse Thursday at the Third Street Courthouse in Geneva. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Paul Haske of Elgin and Mary Jakob and Dave Johnson, both of St. Charles, stand with several others after being sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates at the end of CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse event Thursday in Geneva.

      Paul Haske of Elgin and Mary Jakob and Dave Johnson, both of St. Charles, stand with several others after being sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates at the end of CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse event Thursday in Geneva. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • A large crowd gathered Thursday for CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse at the old Kane County Courthouse in Geneva.

      A large crowd gathered Thursday for CASA Kane County's 11th Annual Hands Around the Courthouse at the old Kane County Courthouse in Geneva. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 4/9/2015 4:30 PM

One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.

And in nine out of 10 of those cases, the abuser knows the victim.

 

These disturbing numbers from the National Children's Alliance and the U.S. Department of Justice are part of the reason why law enforcement, child advocates, prosecutors and community members gathered Thursday at the Third Street Courthouse in Geneva for the 11th annual Hands Around the Courthouse.

Lead by CASA Kane County, the event is held during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Authorities have increased their efforts to ensure mandated reporters know their duties and call the state's Department of Children and Family Services hotline at (800) 25-ABUSE if they have a "reasonable suspicion" abuse is occurring.

Child advocates also say residents should trust their instincts and call DCFS if they suspect a child is being abused.

Residents also can help the Friends of the Kane County Child Advocacy Center, which investigates crimes against children, by donating items such as towels, toiletries and clothes to families displaced by abuse. For more information, visit friendsofkcac.org.

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