Self-esteem is a huge issue for teenagers. For some people, low self-esteem could easily turn into a really bad cycle of mistreatment and abuse — and a situation that’s hard to get out of.
A scary but not uncommon story. Abby (not her real name), is a 16-year-old Lilburn, Georgia, native who grew up with low self-esteem and ended up in a relationship with a guy who used her emotionally and psychologically. That led to her being sexually exploited for about a year (story by JASMINE MARTIN). Abby is among the thousands of victims in the US and among the millions around the world.
The statistic of children with high ACEs score in the US is alarming. About 12.5% of children between 0-17 years of age in the US have ACEs score of 4 or higher, which means she/he is:
- 3600% more likely to become injection drug (ie: heroine) user.
- 1200% more likely to be a sexual assault victim.
- 1000% more likely to inject street drugs.
- 700% more likely to become an alcoholic.
- 600% more likely to have sex before age 15.
To save our children from being exploited sexually like Abby, we must help young children develop a healthy self-esteem before they reach their teenage years and become victims. Studies have shown that art, no matter the art, is critical to building a child’s self-esteem. Some kids like acting. Some kids like music. Some kids like dancing. Some kids like drawing. Find out which art form each kid likes and encourage her/him to pursue so that she will find enjoyment in such activity. The awesome benefits of art will be realized only after repeated activity.