The aftermath of assault against a child could be devastating if the victim isn't helped right away. Statistics show one-in-three women, and one-in-four men in the U.S. are assaulted by the age of 18. Experts say victims will likely suffer emotional and physical problems, if not helped immediately.
Assault against a child. Experts say it happens much too often. Jan Kister is a counselor with Healing for Survivors. The non-profit helps adults who were abused as a child, and didn't get the help they needed right away.
"Holding that forever just affects every single area in their life. It totally changes who they are and who they would have been. And that's just a crime."
Kister says children who have survived abuse will likely develop emotional and physical problems if not helped immediately.
"A lot of the things they go through is they go through depression, high rate of suicide, a lot of anger, relationships don't work for them, self esteem is usually very low."
They say there could also be a great deal of self harm, and addiction.
"It affects everyone. The family obviously. Parents, siblings, extended family, it's just that's why such a heinous crime."
Kister says it's crucial victims do not remain silent, so they're able to heal from the trauma.
"Let them know that they didn't do anything wrong. That there was nothing they did that could have possibly caused this. If they know that justice is going to be done and that the people, the adults in their life are there for them and they don't have to handle it on their own, those are key pieces."
It's estimated that there are more than 60-million survivors of abuse in the U.S. Jan Kister recommends survivors and their families join a support group and receive counseling. There are a number of resource centers in the valley.
For a list of the centers, click on "News Links" above.