KITTRELL – The Kittrell Community Watch met on Thursday, September 23 in the Community Hall at Union Chapel United Methodist Church.
President Edward Woodlief opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introduced Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sergeant Lindsay Nobles, who spent nine years in law enforcement in Vance Counties and Franklin. She quickly rose through the ranks of law enforcement and is now in charge of the Domestic Violence Division, which investigates, among other things, cases of child abuse. Its informative program detailed what domestic violence and child abuse is. Child abuse can be physical, emotional and sexual, and can include neglect or lack of supervision that puts a child at risk. It can also be pornography disseminated on a computer or mobile phone.
State law requires everyone to have a legal obligation to report child abuse, including doctors and hospitals, schools and daycares. Even photo or film processors are required to report inappropriate images or their development. You can report such acts, or even suspicions, by calling 911, the Department of Social Services, writing an anonymous letter, or speaking to any law enforcement department. Law enforcement and child protection services work closely together.
In the United States, one case of abuse or sexual assault is reported every nine minutes and 65,000 assaults occur each year. Seventy-three percent of sexual abuse victims don’t say it for more than a year, 45% don’t say it for more than five years, and some never say it. These assaults have a long-term impact on the physical and mental stability of the child.
Child abuse and neglect can take many forms, such as a child witnessing a violent encounter between parents or people who have a relationship to raise the child. Cases of assault are not discriminatory, but occur more often in rural areas and are more frequent when the guard is unemployed or lives in a lower socio-economic environment.
The abusers involved in these assaults can be anyone: father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, caregiver, a trusted family friend, a teacher or coach, and other members. highly respected in the community such as priests, clergy, doctors or lawyers. Victims often know and trust these people, as they are in their daily lives. The abuser looks for a calm, lonely child or looks for children who are very confident or who seek approval. They often “look after” the child by buying gifts, taking them on outings and often establishing good relationships with the child’s family.
Know your child and know where he is and what he is doing at all times. If your child says something to you, listen – don’t question him intensely, as this may cause him to stop. Leave the details to professionals who are trained in forensic examination.
Signs to watch out for include a change in a child’s behavior, becoming fearful, shy, angry, bedwetting, refusing to participate in normal activities like going to school or church.
The nobles also distributed flyers and information about the vast resources available in our counties, such as the SaM Child Advocacy Center, 704 S. Garnett Street, Henderson. This agency specializes in “responding to and reporting child abuse and neglect”. The “Safe Space” in Franklin County is a place for victims of domestic violence and assault with a 24-hour helpline (1-800-620-6120 or 919-497-5444). Safe Space provides shelter, helps victims get employment so they can leave the abuser, and provides a lawyer to help navigate the justice system in domestic violence and sexual assault cases.
The message in these cases is the same as the Kittrell Community Watch message: “If you see something, say something”.