Here in Cook County and across the state, children who are victims of sexual abuse are hurting. But, for many, their stories and their pain are being ignored, and their silence means more children may have to face the terrors they have themselves.
Even though Asian children make up 5 percent of the children in Cook County, they were only 1 percent of the calls made to the child sexual abuse hot line. Statewide, only .47 percent of the calls about child sexual abuse were concerning Asian children.
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But even though it's not reported, it's still there. Sometimes, people think it's because sexual abuse doesn't happen in Asian communities. But those who work with Asian children know that's not true.
"That's a huge lie," said Jae Jin Pak, a sexual abuse prevention specialist in Chicago. "It's a prevalent problem."
Many Asian children may be suffering in silence. Listen to the story of Je, a young woman who was sexually abused in the Philippines when she was just a girl:
But unless more young people are able to share their stories, like Je, and heal from their pain, this terrifying silence will continue, haunting children and families for generations to come.