Child Abuse, and How You Should React

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A majority of the child abuse cases in Indiana occur close to home. In 2015, Vigo County had the third highest child abuse ration in the state.

There's something you can learn to help.

Child abuse isn't always easy to catch, but according to Emily Perry, a child forensic interviewer, the number one prevention mechanism is minimizing one-on-one contact.

Professionals from across the Wabash Valley who work with children every day attended a youth worker cafe Monday hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute to increase awareness on child abuse and neglect.

Perry presented at this cafe to teach adults how to act responsibly if a child tells them about abuse they may be experiencing.

"During that conversation, it's important to be more of a listener, not a question asker," says Perry. "Be careful not to influence that child's statement, or experience of abuse."

Your reaction is also important.

"Just gathering basic information from that kid. Not reacting in a tearful, or sad, or dramatic-type way, so that child can really just share the information," says Perry.

Perry says to report  immediately to law enforcement, so appropriate intervention can take place.
The next step is to make a  report to the child abuse hotline.
That number is 1-800-800-55-56.

"In Indiana, everybody is a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect--even if it's just a suspicion. All adults need to speak up any time they have a concern about a child, because those children cannot protect themselves," says Perry.


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