April has been declared as Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, and Youth month.
Youth Speaker Sophie Nochefranca talks about the issues of abuse on island during the proclamation.
“Reports of cases of child abuse increased by 5% in 2020 and the sexual assault of minors rose from 69% to 75% between 2018 and 2020 alone. Accounting for cases that are reported and unreported, it must be understood that at least 80% of cases of violence on our island community continue to be undocumented,” Nochefranca said.
Nochefranca also talked about educating and including the youth in the prevention of abuse.
“The spreading awareness, promoting hotline crisis numbers, and services have the capability of saving lives. The youth must be able to identify healthy relationships within their own families, as well as among the community. Advocating for victims to protect them from immediate harm and to preserve the future of our successors should be focused daily,” Nochefranca said.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero also spoke during the proclamation, saying that although the island community is making strides towards eradicating sexual assault, child abuse, and other crimes, it’s still an uphill battle.
She adds that as elected and community leaders, they have a lot to learn from Guam’s youth as they are rising to challenge existing power structures and speaking out for justice and human rights.