West Virginia child abuse statistics released

BUCKHANNON — Today, the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) released its Statewide Data for the 2020 -2021 fiscal year. The data in the report reflects service from West Virginia’s 21 Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) which provided official service to 44 of 55 counties in the state. A CAC provides a safe, child-friendly facility where child protection, criminal justice, and child treatment professionals work together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and help children heal.

To ensure that every child had access to needed resources and support during this time, West Virginia’s 21 Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) remained open. During this past fiscal year, CACs served 4,604 children – a 40% increase in new children served in the last five years. Locally, the Mountain CAP CAC saw 90 children, which is 125% higher than last fiscal year.

Some of the highlights from the Mountain CAP CAC’s report includes:

• 37% of the children served were there because of allegations of sexual abuse 

• 22% of the children served by our CAC were six years old or younger 

• 88% of alleged offenders were someone the child knew (i.e., parent, step-parent, other relative, parent’s significant other)

• 51% began therapy services at our CAC

• Charges were filed for 31 cases, 11 cases were indicted, 1 was convicted by trial, and 7 were convicted by plea

“The Mountain CAP Child Advocacy Center continues, even during the pandemic, to serve abused children and their non-offending caregivers. We recognize that families are experiencing increased financial and emotional stressors during this time, and we are here to help. We firmly believe that abused children can receive justice and healing through our work with the multidisciplinary team and through the provision of advocacy and trauma-focused mental health services.” – Tracy Shroyer-Carlyle, CAC Director

The report includes data on victim demographics, alleged offender demographics, reported vs. disclosed abuse, services performed, criminal justice response, and CAC income budget breakdown. The full statewide data report can be found at here.