WTVM Editorial 6/12/15: Signs of child abuse

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The recent news out of Auburn, AL that a 5-year-old girl died from alleged beatings and abuse is as sad and tragic a story as there is.

While the courts must now determine the outcome of that case, it should make all of us more aware that when abuse is suspected, it must be reported. A child's life might hang in the balance.

In total, 45 percent of abused children are younger than five years old.

In the latest stats available, 1,593 children died in the U.S. because of abuse or neglect.

Far more children - no one really knows how many - live with abuse.

Here's how we can help - know the warning signs.

If you notice changes in behavior or if a child is withdrawn or fearful of adults they might be subject to abuse according to the Mayo Clinic.

Unexplained injuries to a child, or injuries which don't seem to match the explanations given can be another clue.

Often a family member suspects abuse but is fearful or reporting it. For them, the family dynamics around suspected abuse may seem to be an overwhelming situation.

Talk to a trusted pastor or doctor or the police.

When a child's life is at stake, we cannot and should not be silent.

RELATED: Auburn man accused of killing 5-year-old stepdaughter appears in court


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

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