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April 3, 2012

New campaign to tackle child sex abuse in Hawaii

4-3-2012 Hawaii:

The month of April marks national sexual assault awareness month.

Local advocates and organizations are rallying to stop child sex abuse here in Hawaii.

A survivor who hopes a new campaign will broaden awareness and motivate others to open the lines of communication.

How does a victim heal from the trauma and stigma of child sex abuse?

"It started when I first told someone, when I was 27, I am 36 now so took a little while of various therapists and talking,” said Andre Bisquera, sex abuse survivor.

Bisquera was sexually abused as a child and currently serves as a board member for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center.

He's sharing his story with the goal of making a difference in the lives of children who are also victims.

"It was when I was a child and it was probably started around age 8 till age 11 it was a family member so it was very hard to tell someone,” said Bisquera.

Statistics show one in six boys is a victim of sexual abuse and one in four girls has been sexually assaulted.

"About 90-percent of victims know their perpetrator, so it's not the man in a trench coat on the side of the street. It's someone that person knows and they trust,” said Bisquera.

In an effort to tackle this issue locally the Sex Abuse Treatment Center and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children have launched a campaign to prevent and stop abuse from happening and get families talking about the issue at home.

A new 12-minute video features testimony from local survivors, tips for parents and insightful commentary from the Honolulu Police Department.

"Sometimes they don't even know it's wrong. They know it's wrong but they don't know how wrong it is,” said Det. Jim Maurer of the Honolulu Police Department.

The Sex Abuse Treatment Center also offers a parent prevention tool kit on its website to teach parents how to better reduce the risk of abuse. ..Source.. by Olena Heu

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