Sodomy case underscores child abuse in Kentucky

By Matthew Rand | 

37 year old Susan Jamison and 20 year old Thomas Colwell are both charged with first degree sodomy against someone incapable of giving consent.

The case underscores the greater issue of sexual abuse in Kentucky and across the nation.

The Kentucky River Children's Advocacy Center in Hazard works to assist in child abuse investigations, offering services that include forensic interviews and specialized medical examinations.

More often than not, victims are molested by someone they know and trust.

"Trust is what children know. They trust you, and so when that happens to them, most of the time they think that's ok," said Teresa Humble, center executive director.

Humble says one in four girls and one in six boys in kentucky will become victims of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.

Victims are often afraid to speak out about their abuse.

She says parents should look for changes in a child's behavior.

"Is the child withdrawn, is the child bed wetting, does the child have any sexual acting out behavior that's out of the norm for their age?" said Humble.

Victims advocates say the issue of child sexual abuse all too often goes unnoticed.

They say the best way to fight it is to bring it out into the open.

"This is something that needs to be talked about all the time, and everyone needs to have a clear understanding and know that this happens," said Humble.

And, humble says, children need to know that if something is happening to them, it's OK to tell.

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