The importance of reporting child abuse

To the editor:

Child Abuse is not only a real day-to-day issue, it is also the number one cause of depression, anxiety, and distress in the life of a person. Some people are unable to trust others, be involved in healthy relationships, struggle to regulate their emotions and will even feel worthless for the rest of their lives. Child abuse is not only physical and sexual abuse, it is also relevant to emotional abuse or child neglect. Although it is true that some signs of child abuse and neglect are more recognizable than others, there are basic symptoms that anyone can pick up on to identify a case of child abuse. The earlier abused and neglected children get help, the greater chance they have to heal from their abuse and not perpetuate the cycle.

Some Potential Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect:

• Child seems detached or avoids caregiver.

• Child is withdrawn, fearful or shows extreme behavior.

• Frequent or unexplained injuries, bruises, welts or cuts. Injuries may also appear to have a pattern such as a hand or belt.

• Child is often dirty, smells bad, or is in inappropriate clothing for the weather.

• Frequent injuries and illness are left untreated.

• Sudden and unexplained change in school performance, participation and attendance.

• Child threatens or attempts to run away or commit suicide.

• Unusual knowledge or interest in sexual acts.

• Behavior that is inappropriate for the child’s age.

To report Child Abuse and Neglect in Shelby County, please call 937-498-4981.

Sarah Dirksen

Children Services Administrator