TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Local children are suffering every day. It’s a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect.
Nationally, more than three million reports of child abuse are made in the United States each year and the U.S. has one of the worst records in the world.
More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse. And it can have long-term effects throughout the next generations.
About 30 percent of abused or neglected children will later abuse their own children continuing this cycle.
So what can we do?
The numbers don’t lie and they’re not pretty.
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
It seems you see talk of molestation and neglect every day in the news…like these shown on your screen.
To law enforcement, every case they see is alarming.
But they can’t protect the children in this community without you.
“If you suspect abuse or you suspect an inappropriate relationship that you report that,” said Assistant Chief Shawn Keen.
Unfortunately, the world has changed so much in the past few decades.
Now, predators can reach your children even easier.
“With the internet, with social media sites, you’ve now given a predator the avenue to come into your home basically and communicate with your child directly which is something we weren’t dealing with 25 years ago,” said Asst. Chief Keen.
Reporting it is the most important thing.
You as a community member don’t need concrete proof like the prosecutor’s office does.
Use your good judgment.
“We know there is always more cases than what’s reported to us… A lot of times people hesitate if it’s not a complete, in-your-face offense, but maybe they suspect it. We would encourage those people to report it,” said Asst. Chief Keen.
You could change that child’s life.
“That one person could make the difference between something far worse happening down the road,” said Asst. Chief Keen.
For information on how the numbers add up, check out this website.