Imagine five-year-old Robin. She loves to play with her dog, eat ice cream and play with dolls. While Robin may appear to be a normal five-year-old, she is actually keeping a very deep and dark secret. Six months ago, Robin’s mother started dating a new guy and he moved in with them shortly after. Since then, Robin has been sexually abused night after night by her mom’s boyfriend, someone she trusted and still loves. While Robin knows that he is hurting her and it doesn’t seem right, she doesn’t want to tell anyone because he told her that if she tells her mom or anyone else, he will kill her dog. Robin doesn’t know what to do.

Robin represents the large number of children who are abused both physically and sexually in this country and even Cabarrus County. Robin’s case is not unique. One in 10 children will be sexually abused before they are 18 and like Robin, 90 percent will be by someone the child knows, loves and trusts.

Children’s Advocacy Centers, like Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital’s, exist nationwide to provide a safe environment for children who have been abused to come and share their history of abuse one time with everyone who needs to hear it, including the trained certified pediatric interviewer.

If you suspect a child is being abused and is in danger, please call Child Protective Services:

Child Protective Services (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.):               704-920-2277

After hours on-call social worker:                               704-920-3000

*The names, identifying details and photos have been changed to protect the privacy of the children and individuals in the story.