Society has obligation to ferret out child abusers

An editorial from The Register-Herald 

BECKLEY, W.Va. — There was a very disturbing story on the front page of The Register-Herald Tuesday, one that a couple decades ago probably wouldn’t have been on the radar of the majority of readers.

The topic was the latest data by the West Virginia Child Advocacy Networks (WV CAN) on the numbers of physically or sexually abused, neglected or otherwise endangered children.

The bottom line of the story is that the network saw a nearly 15 percent increase in the number of children it served in fiscal year 2015.

In 2014-2015, 3,294 children were served by child advocate centers in the network, compared to 2,874 in 2013-2014.

Broken down by type, the numbers break out this way: sexual abuse, 2,311; physical abuse, 713; drug endangerment, 301; neglect; 252; witness to violence; 357; and other, 192.

The continuing increase of reported abuse can be attributed increased reporting of incidents that were once kept behind closed doors because of the stigma many attach to the victims.

Although we are seeing a crack in that door, for the sake of the children, we must continue to hammer it wide open…


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