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Child Abuse Criteria
(Colorado Springs, CO)
The statistics are astounding. The number of victims of child abuse is higher than that of the annual flu. It is estimated by the US Department of Health and Human Services that 906,000 children were victims of child abuse and neglect in the year 2003. This is over four times as many victims as there are from the flu in the United States. How can this number be reduced?
Children are often too afraid to report their own parents. The mentality that their beating will intensify if they open their mouths is too terrifying. So they remain silent. They lie about their bruises and absences. They avoid family and friends and they internalize their fears and emotions. Parents are supposed to protect you. They are supposed to be the source of comfort and stability. Unfortunately, for far too many, this is not the truth.
The only hope that these children have is for the people around them to do the right thing. All that it takes is a simple phone call (anonymous or not) to Child Protective Services. Or is that all that it takes?
Herein lies the problem that not every case is clear cut and evident with one surprise investigation by the proper authorities.
Adults lie, guilty adults lie even more. It is my argument that Protective Services should have two or three surprise investigations at the very least. All other sources (teachers, neighbors, family, etc.) should be contacted. I realize that this is going to put the wrongly accused parents under substantial stress and embarrassment. However, if they are truly innocent then they will be grateful and understanding. The result of this protocol with the guilty adults will give the children a hope of a normal life. The potential for a future free of fear and sadness.
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