Guest Author - Kelli Deister
The recent news regarding Caylee Marie Anthony has most likely shaken up quite a few of us. The disappearance of this precious child still remains a mystery; however, her mother has been charged with her murder. I have waited for awhile before addressing the news reports regarding little Caylee. It is with great sadness that I write of it at this time. However, it must be addressed.
At this point, many people probably have questions. For instance, some may ask how it is possible that no immediate family of Cayleeís noticed that the child wasnít around. It is my understanding that the mother did not report her missing for quite a while, which leads to another question of why the mother didnít immediately go to the authorities regarding her daughter being missing. With all of these questions come many emotions for those following this story, as well as those in this childís life that mourn her absence.
So, how do we know when a child is in danger? What could possibly happen to tip us off to a child in our lives that is being abused or in danger of being murdered? I remember a story of a little five-year-old girl in Hawaii that also died because of abuse. The police had been called to the home a few times and the child had been taken to the doctor as well, but no one picked up on the warning signs that I believe were there. I sincerely believe that there will always be warning signs when it comes to a child being abused. Those of you that follow my articles know that I have written of the many warning signs of abuse. An adult that is being abused can be very skilled in hiding the abuse; meanwhile, a child does not have the skills to hide it. Granted, the child may try to hide the bruises and emotions that they feel. Many abused children attempt to do that every day. This does not mean that there are no warning signs alerting the adults in the childís life to the abuse they are enduring.
Education is key to prevention. Communities across our country must be educated on child abuse and the warning signs. People must take their suspicions and follow up on them. Iíve said this before, but it warrants saying it again. It is better to report a suspicion and be wrong about it, then to not report a suspicion and be right. We can not sit by and watch warning signs and be afraid to report our suspicions. We must take the bull by the horns and report our concerns. Again, education is key to prevention. A person that is educated on child abuse and its warning signs holds the key to preventing a child from further abuse.