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World Childhood Foundation USA and Economist Impact Release Results of Groundbreaking Report on Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the United States; 25 out of 28 States Receive Failing Grade

World Childhood Foundation USA (WCF-USA), one of the country's pioneering nonprofits in the fight against child sexual exploitation and abuse, and Economist Impact announce the release of the Out of the Shadows Index: Into the Spotlight (OOSI). Produced and developed by Economist Impact, and supported by WCF-USA, the groundbreaking report highlights significant gaps in states' efforts to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), and ultimately 25 out of the 28 states failed. If these scores were equated to academic grades, only three states - Connecticut, Delaware, and Washington - would achieve slightly above a failing grade. The report released today, at the start of April's National Child Abuse Prevention Month, shines a spotlight on the CSEA crisis, as well as the progress being made.

"Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an epidemic that thrives in the shadows of society, and our leaders must prioritize prevention planning to stop sexual violence in all forms," says Mary L. Pulido, PhD., Executive Director of Childhood USA. "The OOSI is a vital resource for states on how to build a more comprehensive approach to protect our children. We aim to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow up free from harm."

While the report highlights some progress made by states, it also underscores significant areas requiring improvement. Key findings include:

"Building a holistic approach is critical to combatting CSEA. This approach needs to employ a public health lens that recognizes CSEA is preventable and addresses risk factors and harmful norms that put children at risk. It needs to empower youth and survivors, and ensure prevention and response systems are child-centered and trauma-informed," says Katherine Stewart, Principal and OOSI Project Director, Economist Impact.

To view the full 2024 U.S. Out of the Shadows Index Report, please visit the Childhood USA website.

About World Childhood Foundation USA

Founded by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden 25 years ago, Childhood USA's mission is to inspire, promote, and develop solutions to end sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence against children. Childhood USA supports programs for children who are disproportionately affected by child sexual abuse and exploitation, including children with disabilities, children who are homeless or in the foster care system, and children from the LBGTQ+ and other marginalized communities. Childhood USA also funds research to pinpoint legislative gaps in the current system that need to be strengthened in both prevention and response to in-person and online sexual abuse and exploitation.

About Economist Impact

Economist Impact combines the rigour of a think-tank with the creativity of a media brand to engage a globally influential audience. We believe that evidence-based insights can open debate, broaden perspectives and catalyse progress. Along with creative storytelling, events expertise, design-thinking solutions and market-leading media products, we produce framework design, benchmarking, economic and social impact analysis, forecasting and scenario modeling, making Economist Impact's offering unique in the marketplace.

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