An Unfortunate Consequence of the Economy

Reading a story on KTVB about the rise in child abuse being diametric to the decline in the economy, I found this statement by Matt Hyde, the program director for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate)  disconcerting:

The program’s director Matt Hyde says as the economy worsens they are already seeing more severe cases of child abuse.

“We have seen some pretty significant physical and sexual abuse cases that have come up in the last several months,” said Hyde.

It’s not just a local or even regional thing, it’s national.  The Washington Post ran an article in which, statistically, there was an increase of 18% in ‘the District’ (D.C.) and in one county in Virginia cases spiked to 152% in a four-month period (July to August).  Fairfax and two surrounding counties had actual increases in caseload of 23% to38%.

Linda Spears, who as VP, heads a coalition of nonprofit groups who provide aid to abused and neglected children (Child Welfare League of America)had this to say:

“There are so many unknowns, but I would venture to guess that we’re about to see one of the larger increases in child abuse cases since the drug epidemic increases in the 1990s.”

That’s genuinely scary.

Last week I saw this story about a McDonald employee who apparently foiled an abduction of an 8 year-old girl in Olympia, Washington. The circumstances in which the 8 year-old and her 10 year-old brother were in the McDonald’s are explained in the story from KING5 in Seattle, whereas here, the circumstances are not mentioned.

Brown says she left her children – 8-year old Kasia and 10-year-old Devon — at the Olympia library on Dec. 19 while she was moving the family from a homeless shelter in Tacoma to one in Olympia. The library closed early because of snow.

The mother was delayed by traffic and the kids went to the McDonalds next door/nearby.  There’s no judgement related to their circumstances, et al., it’s about the unfortunate situation people will find themselves as the result of the economy spiralling downward and how things are related.

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