Readers of this newspaper are certainly aware that children in our own neighborhoods are often victims of unspeakable cruelty. Not a day goes by without at least one mention of a case of child abuse or neglect in these pages.
Today’s story about an alleged case involving a 2-year-old Washington County boy is just another reminder that there are some in our community who put children at grave risk of injury as a result of neglect or mistreatment. In the case we reported today, court documents say the child suffered “severe head injuries,” as well as having “multiple bruising and marks about his body.”
State officials investigate more than 60,000 reports of child abuse annually. 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 any time of the day or night by calling Tennessee’s child abuse hotline at 1-877-237-0004.