While most of the graphic testimony jurors heard during the trial of a former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky could not be printed in a family newspaper like ours, not a day goes by that we do not report at least one case of child abuse or neglect on these pages.
It’s a sad fact of life that there are some in our community who put children at grave risk of injury, severe emotional trauma and even death as a result of neglect or mistreatment. State officials investigated more than 60,000 reports of child abuse in 2011.
This mistreatment includes physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or psychological harm. Telltale signs of child abuse often include malnutrition, poor hygiene and unexplained bruises.
It is the duty of all Tennesseans to report such abuse when they witness it. In fact, state law requires anyone with suspicions of child abuse to report it immediately to the state Department of Children’s Services or to local law enforcement officials.
You can report child abuse anytime of the day or night by calling Tennessee’s child abuse hotline at 877-237-0004.