IN THE NEWS: THE EFFECTS OF CHILD ABUSE – WAY BEYOND BLUE WATER OR PINWHEELS
To those who mark April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, pinwheels and blue water are symbols of resolve and hope. Pinwheels represent the promise of a happy, healthy, and safe childhood, so, just prior to the beginning of this month, volunteers planted 1,000 blue and silver pinwheels at the Villages of Indiana, our state’s largest nonprofit child and family services agency. Meanwhile, on April 12, the Department of Child Services dyed our downtown canal water blue as a symbol of abuse prevention.
It’s important to know and recognize the warning signs of child abuse, and to intervene when necessary, IndyStar reporter Claire Rafford explains. And, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation reminds us, it should not matter if the suspected abuse involves a family member, fellow employee, neighbor, friend, acquaintance, or stranger, because “we each have the moral responsibility, and at times the legal duty, to take the necessary actions in protecting children.”
Everyone agrees when it comes to the importance of child abuse prevention. But, as personal injury attorneys for more than forty years, we are often forced to deal with the effects of child abuse when prevention efforts didn’t succeed. We see the enormous challenge facing parents when it comes to paying for the long term treatment their abused child is going to need, with the only path to financial relief for the family being through the civil courts. Only a civil lawsuit has the power to compensate the victim and his or her family, providing the cash needed for long term therapy costs, long after the pinwheels and blue water have faded from memory.