SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A staggering number of children are abuses across the state of Louisiana each year.
According to the Darkness to Light website, one in 10 children are abused before the age of 18. It’s an issue happening right before our eyes and many don’t even know about it.
Most cases go unreported due to a lack of knowledge.
Angel Rogers runs the Cara Center in Shreveport. It’s a center that helps children with suspected child abuse by providing medical examinations. Rogers said the center helps nearly 600 kids per year.
"That averages out to be about 30-40 kids per month. Those are just the kids where the cases are being reported. Just imagine the cases with kids who still aren't being discovered, still aren't being reached and they're too scared to tell."
Rogers said many people don’t report abuse because talking about such problems was not accepted at one time.
"Most of adults were raised in the era where you don't talk about those things even though you knew they were happening inside of your own home. You just didn't discuss the family business."
CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier, our area Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, joined the Cara Center and an organization called Darkness to Light to provide free classes to anyone in our community wanting to know more about how to detect child abuse.
CMNH has been able to provide these for free to anyone who wants them through donations. "They learn how to not put themselves in certain situations that could be questionable. They learn how to spot, maybe, different signs that maybe a child is feeling uncomfortable in certain situations and they learn different ways how to report the situation when it may arise."
The staff at CHRISTUS Primary Care Partners heard of the free classes and they immediately signed up. "We see pediatrics every single day and we want to be sure that our staff is able to see the signs and know what to do," said Kelly Patterson, clinic coordinator.
Rogers said times have not changed and talking about the problem and knowing what to look for will reverse the epidemic of child abuse across Louisiana. "We need to break the cycle and teach children that it is ok. It's ok to tell. It's ok to say no when a situation makes you uncomfortable. No matter who it is."
The free classes are provide to anyone who is interested in taking the class, whether it be an individual, school teachers, church leaders, or physicians. You can contact the CHRISTUS Foundation Shreveport-Bossier to learn how to sign up for the training by calling 318-681-6781.
Sponsored by CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier, Your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.