Preventing child abuse means asking questions

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When tragedy strikes in the community, such as news of a A 6-year-old boy killed Tuesday at his home, people often wonder — how did this happen? And what can be done to prevent it?

“We are looking at other systems where there were potentially opportunities in the past for certain interventions in this family’s life,” Jackson County District Attorney Jean Peters Baker said. “Can we make our processes better and stronger? Because if we owe anything, we owe it to this 6-year-old boy.

The boy was called Karvel Stevens. His mother, Tasha Haefs, is now accused of his murder.

According to court recordsshe admitted to police that she had killed her son – investigators found knives in the 7300 block of the Indiana Avenue home.

Haefs’ other children were not there at the time.

“I know there aren’t enough details to know what how much this parent sufferedbut I think it was pretty clear that things were going on with this parent and he really needed support,” said Kristina Jones, director of programs for Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Jones said people often don’t want to appear nosy or meddle in other people’s business, but the first thing someone should do is ask questions and offer help if they think something is wrong. thing is wrong.

“I think when we really trust each other, trust our instincts and believe that something is wrong, we can come from a very loving, gentle and kind place and inquire and offer each other help and support. assisting people who we can tell are suffering,” Jones said.

Groups like CAPA offer mental health counseling to children and adults and have networks with other organizations that can help.

“We still have a lot of work to do to reduce the stigma around bringing in these more formal resources, but I think if you suspect something, you suspect a child is in danger, it’s worth going through. this call,” Jones said.

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