The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Child sexual abuse is not exclusively a Latter-day Saint problem. It is a problem for all of humanity. While statistics vary, the CDC reports that one in four girls and one in thirteen boys experience sexual abuse at some point in their childhood, and 91 percent of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the child or their family.

And the repercussions of abuse are far-reaching and long-lasting. Chris Yadon is the managing director of Saprea, a nonprofit that seeks to aid in the healing of victims of sexual abuse and provide resources for prevention. He says that the repercussions of sexual abuse “manifest as things like mental health disorders. By age 30, 85 percent of child sexual abuse survivors have a diagnosable mental health disorder.” Additionally, “an individual that is sexually abused is three times more likely to attempt a suicide than someone that is not,” and “a child that is sexually abused is 40 percent more likely to drop out of high school.”

Yadon hopes to combat the problem of child sexual abuse in his professional career. From his perspective as a Church member and former stake president, he believes abuse is something the Church has been concerned about for a long time, contrary to recent media reports. He cites a Church pamphlet released in the early 80s that strongly encouraged parents to talk to their children about sexual health and even gave recommendations on how to do that but the counsel seems to have gone largely unheeded.

“To think the Church approached that in the 80s and as Church membership we’ve largely ignored it is really a big concern in my mind,” he says.

While abuse is a problem that extends far beyond the Latter-day Saint community, Church members who have worked within this space say Latter-day Saints can better engage in prevention. In addition to Yadon, Natalie Moon from the Mama Bear Effect, a nonprofit focused on providing parents with the education and tools they need to prevent child sexual abuse, and Sage Williams, a registered nurse and member of the Global Network of Religions for Children, were generous enough to help us better understand the complexities surrounding sexual abuse prevention and provide five ways we can all contribute to prevention.

To read the five suggestions for prevention, CLICK HERE