Abuse Reports Increase after Summer
The end of summer signals the return to school and abuse reports increase. Some children and youth have gone to summer camp, hung out with their friends, learned to swim, or played a LOT of video games. Others kids didn’t have such a great summer; they may have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Young children have been left unsupervised, many have not had enough to eat, and a few may have fallen victim to predators. Kids that are victims of maltreatment may have been removed from their home, their parents and siblings, their friends, and even their pets – to be placed in foster care. Unfortunately, one of the outcomes of summer vacation is that abuse reports increase.
Returning to School
The new school year may bring a rush of emotions for abused and neglected kids. It may be hard for other people to understand they have had a really rough time. They may have a dark secret they don’t want to share. They may be anxious…someone may discover the secret…teachers, staff, or friends could notice a change…someone may discover or reveal the bruises, or…remark on the weight loss. Yes, the beginning of the school year may be very frightening for a child that has been a victim of maltreatment.
What can you do?
Even though it is hard, the weapons that you have against child abuse and neglect are the following:
1) Education/Prevention – Every adult and child in our society should know the meaning and ramifications of abuse and neglect. 2) Abuse Reports – The more people that understand the importance of reporting, the earlier an intervention can take place.
3) Consequences – Our society must send the message that abuse, neglect, and abandonment will not be tolerated.
Please be a part of not only preventing maltreatment of our next generation through education, but also reporting any incident or suspicions you may have that someone is mistreating a child. Take that step. If you don’t, something may happen. If you do, you will know you did the right thing.