Abuse, neglect seminar educates students

The purple ribbon represents domestic violence awareness.

Photo courtesy of arabalears

The purple ribbon represents domestic violence awareness.

On Tuesday, November 13, WJ counselors presented students with a detailed Powerpoint demonstration regarding child abuse and neglect.

The slideshow was comprised of examples of warning signs a potential victim could exhibit if they’re experiencing abuse. In addition, students were informed of how a person could identify both physical and emotional abuse. Finally, all learned the importance of reaching out and reporting misconduct immediately after it has been observed.

Junior Ally Hilligoss appreciated the thoroughness and objectives highlighted in the presentation.
“I think it’s super important for kids to be able to understand what abuse looks like, and how they can find help for themselves, and for their friends,” Hilligoss said.

A primary theme in the presentation was the value of reporting any possibility of abuse.WJ guidance counselor Imani Ladson believes that even if a student is uncertain, they should still report the abuse.

“It’s for better to over-report and allow us to further investigate and find that everything’s fine, than to simply ignore and allow a student to suffer in silence,” Ladson said.

The presentation provided a significant amount of statistics regarding the typicality of child abuse; one in six boys, and one in four girls will be abused either sexually, physically, or emotionally abused before the age of 18.

“It was really alarming to hear about the statistics, and how common child abuse is,” Junior Lila Hoffman-Byer said.

The county’s objective is to have the number of victims eventually reach zero countywide. The main lesson of the day was that if a bystander sees something, to say something immediately in order to protect the victim and avoid further conflict.