Portsmouth, N.H., April 1, 2011 - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Derry's Parkland Medical Center want to increase awareness and reduce the number of children who may become victims. Currently, 1 in 5 children will become a victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Recognizing that child sexual abuse is an issue, the hospitals joined hands and presented a check for $6,000 to the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County.

"Hospitals are one of our front line resources when it comes to recognizing and reporting allegations of physical or sexual child abuse" said Maureen Sullivan, Executive Director. Survivors are vulnerable to long-term emotional and physical damage ranging from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders and low self-esteem. Nancy E. Notis spokesperson for Hospital Corporation of America's New Hampshire market said "The first line of defense against child abuse is making sure people know what to do when they suspect it has occurred."

The Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County with offices in both Portsmouth and Derry has provided assistance to over 3,800 physically and sexually abused children and their families. Child protective caseworkers, police detectives, pediatricians, prosecutors, victim advocates, and mental health professionals all work together in our child friendly center to collect evidence, minimize the number of times a child is interviewed, and ensure that all children who come through the center receive appropriate medical examinations and therapeutic support. For more information go to www.cacnh.org or become a Facebook friend.

Maureen Sullivan
Executive Director
Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County

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