Stats show assaults don't happen in bathrooms

A child advocacy center shared statistics with NBC Charlotte about assaults in bathrooms.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- House Bill 2 has been a political hot potato with strong passions on both sides of the issue.

But professionals who work with child sex abuse victims say if history is any guide, the odds of something happening in a bathroom are slim.

"I think there is an assumption that by separating genders that we are somehow keeping kids safe," said Andrew Oliver, the director of Pat's Place.

Pat's Place is on the front lines of protecting children against sexual and physical abuse. Victims are interviewed in what's set up like play rooms so that kids will feel comfortable telling their painful stories.

"Our staff members receive incredible training and they are trained to talk about difficult things that have happened to them; those are conducted live, and police are observing the interview," said Oliver.

The staff is in a great position to know who is abusing kids and where that abuse takes place.

"It's a neighbor, it's a family member, it's a family friend, it's someone who is close to the family."

The center's stats show that last year, Pat's Place interviewed 536 victims; of them only 2%-- or just 11 cases-- involved strangers.

Over the last two years at least 850 children were interviewed, and the number of transgender bathroom assaults was zero.

Oliver says there are bathroom sexual assaults, but almost all of them occur between children who are about the same age and who know each other.

But that doesn't mean that parents can let down their guard.

"We would always encourage parents they should supervise their children, they should check the restroom before use, monitor it during use, and talk to kids about going to the bathroom in small groups," said Oliver.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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