On Friday, the Tallapoosa County Department of Human Resources and Tri-County Child Advocacy Center co-hosted an annual child abuse awareness program. At the end of the program, those in attendance released 93 balloons representing the children the organizations served in 2018.
Child abuse is hard to talk about, but it also needs to be dealt with effectively. The event recognized all teams involved in helping children including law enforcement, the child advocacy center, the DHR and the local courts.
As Tallapoosa County DHR director Brenda Floyd said, while they were able to help 93 children last year, there still may be more affected by child abuse.
“That (number) doesn’t include the hundreds (of children) who have been investigated and perhaps we suspected something but there wasn’t enough to prove it and it doesn’t include the interviews that are done by the (child advocacy center),” Floyd said.
Floyd said the numbers from last year may not be a true representation and it “makes (her) stomach knot to know we have unreported cases out there.”
As members of the community, we should recognize signs of abuse.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, some signs of child abuse include sudden changes in behavior or school performance, not receiving medical or physical help from parents, lack of adult supervision and being constantly watchful. Other signs include learning problems, being overly compliant, passive or withdrawn, being reluctant around certain people, disclosing maltreatment and attending school early and wanting to stay late.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you’re concerned about a child being abused contact the child’s doctor or healthcare provider, a local child protective agency, local law enforcement or a 24-hour hotline depending on the situation.
All children deserve a good childhood. While abuse happens and is never OK, we’re glad people in the county are stepping up to help. We applaud the efforts of the Tallapoosa County DHR, child advocacy center, local courts and law enforcement.