"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
In recent months, it seems we've been inundated with stories of abuse of our young people –
everything from the Sandusky case to the Boy Scout incident that had local implications.
It may be impossible to stop 100% of the physical, mental or emotional abuse against our children,
whether it comes from the hands of a teacher, caregiver, classmate or even a trusted role model.
But perhaps by being more attentive to our children we can drastically reduce the amount of abuse.
If nothing else, we can prevent it from happening to another child.
So, how do we do that?
Well, certainly, any physical damages should raise an immediate red flag…even if your child sheepishly says it was "an accident."
But also take notice of any changes in demeanor.
Have his grades slipped? Is she acting out in ways that aren't normal?
Does he or she seem withdrawn?
If you notice any of these types of changes, or hear your child make comments that seem out of character, then start asking questions.
Continue to gently, ask until you get a definitive answer.
If you child's behavior has changed enough to make you wonder, then something is going on in their lives, and you need to know about it.
Remember, it's our responsibility as adults to protect our children…and whether yours, a neighbor's, or a stranger's, no child deserves to be abused.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.