By Jenn Bomorra
There is a shocking growth rate on the incline due to child abuse cases, especially in Clare and surrounding communities.
Clare County is topping the list with the highest numbers from last year and year to date compared to Gladwin and Missaukee counties.
Focus has been on Harrison Michigan, with the most cases known. Last year alone, there were 87 child abuse cases in Clare County, 66% of those reporting were children that resided in Harrison Michigan and 97% of those child abuse cases reported last year were that of child sexual abuse.
The Northern Michigan Mobile Child Advocacy Center numbers from last year reports 87 cases for Clare and 27 cases for Gladwin Counties.
This year, with year to date, Clare County already has 19 confirmed cases, 9 of which belong to Harrison. Farwell shows 4, City of Clare 5, and Lake with 1 case.
Gladwin County reported 10 for Gladwin and 3 cases in Beaverton.
Sadly to say, the rise on child abuse numbers are becoming the “Sad-Norm” anymore. More cases have doubled and tripled in percentages over the past few years throughout Michigan. Many factors may be playing a role in these accelerations in findings like, the increase of poverty levels that are more prominent in certain areas of Michigan and the awareness level of this ongoing problem with our children is becoming more prevalent. Proactive awareness can be a powerful voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves. It can be used to save the lives of many children around us.
Unfortunately, child abuse isn’t a happy topic to talk about and many of us sometimes don’t know how to go about reporting or speak up on certain things we hear or see when it comes to the abuse of children. Majority of the cases are under the same roof of the children, or a close friend or family member close to the child, so it’s extremely important to be aware and informed on this heartbreaking situation plaguing our kids today.
“ Watch out for behavioral changes, if your child was once happy and outgoing and changes to quiet or reserved, talk to them, let them know it’s safe to talk to you and that they can feel comfortable opening up if something is bothering them” said, Hollie Harcourt, Victim Advocate for Northern Michigan Mobil Child Advocacy Center. “Our Agency is out there, being proactive and trying to get awareness out to the public” Also added Hollie Harcourt.
The Northern Michigan Mobile Child Advocacy Center is attempting to try and find funding to implement a children’s program for the schools to help inform and promote the level of awareness for children.