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Pahrump, Nevada
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May 8, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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May 8, 1997
 

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12 Thursday, May 8, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette il Child Abuse statistics are staggering. National figures for 1990 showed 39 of every 1,000 children were reported for maltreatment (includes abuse and neglect). At least three children per day were fatal victims of maltreatment. Reported cases more than doubled during the 1980s. No one can say for sure if its a growing problem or if the rising numbers reflect better reporting or, as some studies indicate, both are factors. "Each year hundreds of thousands of children are being starved and abandoned, burned and severely beaten, raped and sodomized, and berated and belittled in this country." (U.S. Advisory Board on CIdld Abuse and Neglec 1990). Between 2,000 and 5,000 children die each year from child maltreatment according to National statistics. The most vulnerable are the most likely to die. Children under five years old account for 90% of the fatalities with more than 50% less than one year old. "Child protective services in Nevada received 12,716 reports of child maltreatment in 1995 with 4,729 of these reports substantiated. Because of cases "missed" by profes- sionals who don't want to get involved, who cover up for parents or who can't pin down injury causes, it is estimated that (nationally) more than a million cases of abuse and neglect go unreported each year. Maltreatment has resulted in severe, pemianent developmental and psychological dam- age, learning disabilities, motor handicaps, mental retarda- tion and death in many children." (UNR Cooperative Exten- sion). VALLEY DENTAL GIIOUP 1420 E, State Highway 372 89o41 727-6615 I I II I | I 1977 20 Years Serving Pabrump/ Celebrating Who abuses children? Tragically, it is the people who are closest to them, the people who are supposed to be their care takers and protectors. In 84% of abuse cases, the perpetrator is the child's natural parent (mother/father). A stepparent is the next most likely abuser, but at 6% way down the scale from natural parents. A parent's boyfriend/girlfriend is even less likely to harm the child and is the perpetrator in 4.2% of substantiated cases. Other relatives are perpetrators of abuse in 3.1% of the cases. The five major identified factors affecting child abuse in Nevada are Inability to Cope (98%); Insufficient Income (53%); Drugs/Alcohol (48%); Marital Problems (34%); Fam- ily Violence/Spouse Abuse (28%). How likely are parents and other family members to report child abuse? It is likely that many families, like that of Joanna profiled in last week's column, are going to do everything possible to keep the abusive activities secret. Nevada Revised Statute 432B.220 lists ten professional and occupational categories of people in contact with chil- dren. The list includes medical, school, law enforcement, and child care personnel, clergymen, attorneys and others who are involved with children. The people listed under the statute are required to make a report when, in their professional or occupational capacities, they know or have reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. What about the rest of us? What are our responsibilities when we know or suspect a child is being abused? When we see a neighbor hitting a child, shouting obscenities at the child, kicking or in other ways hurting a child, are we obligated to report it? What about the woman at the grocery store who threatens her distraught child and when you leave you see her picking the child up by his hair and throwing him into the vehicle. Should you report it? In a culture where we pride ourselves on our individual- ism, value our privacy and generally believe in minding our own business, reporting abuse can be a tough decision. What if the parent just "lost it" and abuse is not a pattern? If we don't intervene, who will? Since the perpetrator is usually a parent or family member if Mr./Ms. Citizen won't help the child, who will? Our call to the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services, ]9971 NOTARY 2nd La2ta,'t yarmers Insumm'e A$ent in aie q lnited Stute. Worden's Insurance Agency MORTGAGE INSURANCE PHONE IMMEDIATE QUOTES ISSUE SR22's ALL LINES BROKER AUTO. HOMEOWNERS MOBILE HOMES RECREATIONAL VEHICLES - LIFE. HEALTH COMMERCIAL LONG-TERM CARE BONDS BAIL BONDS  6 Licensed Agents for Convenient Professional Service NELL WORDEN-DANIEL Agent & Owner to the Sheriff's Office or to a local Help Line could bring help to both the child and the family. The call could save a child. It could save his life. NRS432B.230 states that a child abuse or neglect report may be made verbally by telephone or otherwise. "The report must contain the following information if obtainable: a. The name, address, age and sex of the child; b. The name and address of the child's parents or other person responsible for his care; c. The nature and extent of the abuse or neglect of the child; d. Any evidence of previously known or suspected abuse or neglect of the child or the child's siblings; e. The name, address and relationship, if known, of the person who is alleged to have abused or neglected the child; and f. Any other information known to the person making the report that the agency which provides protective services consider necessary. This may sound like a lot of trouble. Is it too much hassle when it might save a child? Reports can be made statewide on the Child Abuse Hodine, 1-800-992-5757 or to 911 in an emergency. No To Abuse hot lines are 751 - 1118 in Pahrump, 482-3016 in Tonopab ortoll free 1-888-882-2873. Two excellent sources of information are available through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Recogniz- ing Child Abuse and Neglect (Fact Sheet 96-21) and Report- ing Child Abuse and Neglect (Fact sheet 96-22). The KIDSRIGHTS Parenting series has an informative pamphlet, How to Know If Your Child Has Been Abused. There is help and hope nationally, statewide and locally. In July 1990, the Commission to draft the Nevada Plan for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect was established under the direction of the Children's Trust Fund Committee. The Nevada Plan for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment is the result of many hours of research, evaluation and planning. Pahrumpian Kathy Scott, Executive Director of No to Abuse was a member of the commission. The plan is directed to intervention to prevent abuse by addressing the numerous causes and providing help. Preven- tion is more cost effective in all ways and where we have to go to putan end to the abuse and torture of all children like Jeanna. Family violence/spouse abuse is a factor in child abfise. Next week we'll discuss domestic violence to women. 2210 E Commercial Rd PO Box 580 Pahrump, NV 89041 (702) 727-5241 Dedicated to being 'oA ' " P, rump s Premer Insurance Company! jeffrey Ross Gunter, M.D. Fellow American Society for I)cmlaologic Surgery I)iplomatc American Board of l)erlnalology Fellow American Academy of Dermatology Skin Diseases Skin Cancer Acne Treatment Cosmetic Skin Allergy l'ti.l Specialist rctin A Chemical Peels ki. t;.,wth Rahr MOllS Micrographic Surgeq,' Acct, lane Fruit Peels Pediatric Icrmatology (hmtanemt Surgery AChe Surgery Spider Veins Medicare A.mignmenl Most Major Insurance Accepted * (,olirlely Inanranee Billing CALL 727-0146 1330 Ilighway 160, Suite 12 * Pahrump