Physical neglect, emotional neglect, physical abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
These are some of the experiences child advocate Angelia Porter said her young clients have had to live through. She works with kids ages three through nine at Response, Inc. -- an agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Shenandoah County. The group has been around since 1980, but thanks to state and federal grants, it's been able to recently expand its children’s services.
And it's not just for Shenandoah County kids. Any family in need of help or a safe haven can find it here.
"We have clients who are tremendously successful who now have good jobs and maintaining good homes and have really good kids despite all sorts of barriers," said Lyda Kiser, the director of Response, Inc.
Some are not so lucky. Last year in Virginia, more than 8,000 children were involved in cases of abuse and neglect. At least 28 Virginia children died from that abuse. Nationally, 1,200 children died last year. That's one every seven hours.
"This is an issue that occurs in the U.S. more than it should and from our numbers and what we see it's increasing and the need for services is increasing as well," Porter said.
Response is stepping up to that challenge.
KIser said child abuse will continue to exist as long as people are silent about it. For more information about Response or to learn how you can help, contact the group at 540-459-5599.