Teachers are the #1 reporter of child abuse and neglect in the U.S. and now that school is out, those calls for help are not being made.
According to a recent article from NBC News, reports of child abuse and neglect have dramatically declined in many states. States across the country are receiving only about 50% of the abuse reports than normal.
Experts indicate that the decrease in calls most likely does not point to fewer incidents of child abuse. “Teachers, coaches and health care professionals, people trained to recognize child abuse, ‘are just not seeing these kids,’ said Daphne Young, chief communications officer for Childhelp, a child-welfare organization with a national abuse hotline.”
The absence of an extra set of caring eyes on children coupled with the stresses families are facing during this crisis places many children in significant danger.
As adults, we have a legal and moral obligation to stand up and speak out for children who are being abused. Even from a distance, we can help. We can learn the signs and indicators of abuse and be those caring eyes.
It’s important that adults learn the signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect. Please review these signs below to help protect children from abuse.
- Unexplained or repeated injury.
- Verbal threats of harm.
- Degrading commentary (humiliation, rejection, questionable forms of punishment) from an adult caregiver directed toward the child.
- Child has discomfort sitting.
- Child shows wariness when parent/caregiver is present/approaches.
- Child attempts to hide injury.
- Any disclosure of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
- Child appears malnourished.
- Inappropriate clothing for the season.
- Denied medical care/necessary medicine.
- Extremely dirty/unbathed.
- Lack of appropriate supervision for extended period.
- Parent/caregiver: seems indifferent, under the influence, lacks the means to provide for the child (i.e. mental capacity).
If you have reasonable suspicion of abuse, please click here to find the child abuse reporting line in your area and make the call.