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If You See Something, Say Something

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Ever since the terror attacks of September 11, posters, billboards, and advertising campaigns have instructed us: “If you see something, say something.”

Its designed to put as many eyes as possible on anything that could be considered a threat. There are those, we are told, that still aim to do us harm. Terrorists are everywhere, and just waiting for the right time to strike. Nothing is too small to report, experts say. It might save lives.

The same advice should be given for our children.

In the wake of the gruesome Penn State sex abuse scandal, it seems too few people who saw something — or suspected something — said something. Or said something to the right people. It sure seems like there was a cover-up, but more troubling to this father of two boys is the number of people who MUST have suspected something, who said nothing. How many people assumed someone else would say something. As a result, the lives of at least half a dozen boys have been shattered.

Lauren Kidd, spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, says the mandatory reporting law in New Jersey is clear, “in that it requires ANYONE who has reasonable cause to believe that a child is being or has been abused or neglected to report the suspected abuse or neglect to the Division of Youth and Family Services. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, people should call the Child Abuse Neglect Hotline at 1-877-NJ Abuse (1-877-652-2873). To keep kids safe, it is critical for anyone with reason to believe a child has been abused to call the Child Abuse Neglect Hotline.”

We often don’t like to think that there are those who wish our nation harm. It’s even more unthinkable that there are those who seek to harm our children. Unfortunately, the threat is very real. We don’t like to think that our neighbor might be a terrorist. What if someone we trust to care for our kids is a molester? It’s human nature not to want to believe there are monsters among us, but if we pretend the threat does not exist, who pays the price?

If you see something, SAY something. You may be the only hope for saving a child.

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