Children in Crisis
I hope you did not miss the 8-part series in the Pensacola News Journal, beginning on April 26, 2015. The series title, “Children in Crisis”, includes a subtitle, “Violence, neglect or rape affect an estimated 1 out of 19 kids in our area. In 2014, one out of 14 children in Escambia County was involved in an allegation of abuse according to the Department of Children and Families. In Santa Rosa County, it was one out of 25. ” What a terrible statistic! Even though the article focuses specifically on two counties, most of the information applies to children who are victims of maltreatment all over the country.
The first in the 8-day series, written by Carlos Gieseken, describes the goal of the series: “to increase awareness of the need to report suspected abuse, in the hopes of saving children and families in our community.” A few of the highlights of the first article in the series follow:
- Most perpetrators of abuse are parents, step-parents, caregivers, paramours, siblings, and sometimes friends of the family. They are the people the children trust; the “only family they know.”
- The majority of cases are victims between 0 and 6 years old. Any type of abuse during these formative years leaves a lifelong perception of how the world must be. “It is another experience that forms what they see as a norm of everyday life.”
The article also includes a detailed story of a baby boy named Jerry who showed signs of neglect at 10 days old. By 4 months old, he was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured and crushed skull, swollen brain, broken ribs and leg; all the injuries were caused by his father. Jerry’s adoptive family lists Jerry’s disabilities – traumatic brain injury , legally blind, seizures, right-sided weakness, fluid on the brain, headaches, developmentally delayed, sensory processing disorder, autism, nerve damage in an ankle. Jerrry’s story is one of hope, healing, grief, anger, and love. Not all children are as fortunate.
As Child Guardians, we work with community partners to increase awareness, identify and meet the needs of children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Please join us in our efforts! Click Here.