Saturday, December 18, 2010

Child Abuse - The Signs (Pt.3)

(Continued from December 11, 2010) ........ Since the time of dealing closely with Matt and then hearing his confession later, Mr. Roberts learned of the signs of child abuse. According to the U.S department of Health and Human Services, the signs of child abuse can be the following:

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
  • Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attention
  • Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
  • Lacks adult supervision
  • Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
  • Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home

Yes, all of the classic symptoms were there, but they were not recognized by anybody on the staff, including the Principal, Counselor, Social Worker or by Mr. Roberts. Sadly, at the tender age of 25-years-old, Mr. Roberts had never known of the signs of child abuse. In his neighborhood as a child, this just did not occur – well, as far as he knew.

But, through Matt’s visit several years later and through studying the signs of child abuse, Mr. Roberts and his staff has saved several children from the horrors of abuse. Sometimes they have dealt with the parents directly and other times they have handed them over the authorities. In all cases (too many to count), the abuse stopped, which, of course, was the main goal.

So, what the purpose of Matt’s visit? Oh, he wanted to invite Mr. Roberts to his wedding (to a young lady who had also been in his Band for 3 years); to tell him of the abuse; and to tell him that he had confronted his mother; she apologized; and he forgave her ……. but he was going to get married and move about 200 miles away from, just to be sure! At least his sense of humor had remained intact!

Yes, Matt’s hanging on to Mr. Roberts for 3 years of his life, and later sharing his story, led to multiple other children being saved from the horrors of child abuse. Because of Matt’s turmoil and subsequent sharing, everybody associated with Mr. Roberts' school learned to recognize the signs of child abuse.

Great job, Matt! You are one, brave, young man and everybody is proud of you!

To all of the parents out there – if you abuse your child, we’ll find you and we’ll report you. DON’T ABUSE YOUR KIDS!

Our kids were given to us as a blessing. Be sure to love them; treat them well; prepare them for the rigors of life; discipline them when you need to; and always treat them with loving care; and, as always, TAKE GREAT CARE OF YOUR KIDS!

Paul W. Reeves

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