Fannin Co. CAC teaches adults to "Recognize and Report" child ab - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Fannin Co. CAC teaches adults to "Recognize and Report" child abuse

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FANNIN COUNTY, TX - It's estimated that only 1 in 10 children will tell someone they're being abused, and that's why Children's Advocacy Centers say adults need to learn the signs to look for and how to step up to the plate when the time comes.

The class was originally created by the Dallas CAC and Fannin County has now included it in their series of child abuse prevention classes.

It's called "Recognize and Report" and directors say an alarming new trend of unreported cases of child abuse across the county is what's sparking a lot of interest in developing these vital skills.

"I was just kind of stunned, I was just listening to her and I didn't really know what else to say to her." said teacher, Melinda Campbell.

It was a conversation with a student, that Melinda Campbell says she can't forget.

She says it was then that she knew, she needed to educate herself more on how to respond when a child confides in you.

"Adults have to protect kids, you know we can't leave it up to kids to protect themselves." said Fannin County CAC Executive Director, Sandy Barber.

Child abuse statistics are alarming, but even more alarming, experts say, is the number of people who look the other way and let it go on.

"What we're seeing in Fannin County is that in the past year we had a pretty tremendous drop, about a 25% drop in the number of reports that went in about child abuse in our county, yet the number of confirmed victims stayed about the same." Barber said.

Sandy Barber says lack of knowledge and fear are what keep a lot of people from reporting abuse.

"There's been a lot of studies done that say a pretty small percentage of people actually will report when they suspect abuse. So in other words, a lot of people will suspect child abuse but then for different reasons will not make that report." Barber said.

"Recognize and Report" is a new class that educates people on the red flags of child abuse and how to report it.

And that's what brought concerned citizens like Campbell here today.

"It's important if you work with children every day that they learn to trust you and that you're a good listener and that we have the experience and the knowledge to help them with any kind of situation that they might have." Campbell said.

For more information on the classes offered at Fannin County CAC, call 903-583-4339 or visit the web site http://www.fanninccc.org/