April is child abuse month however, any time is a good time for Montrealers to review what we know and don’t know about this horrible crime.
However one would be surprised to know that most known cases of child abuse are not reported. Many Montrealers are afraid to call the police or report to Batshaw Youth and Family Services . They are afraid that the parents will find out who they are and retaliate or the children will be taken away from their family. In low income districts of Montreal, social workers are not liked or even trusted by the general community. (source personal experience and dealings with Batshaw Youth and Family Services as an advocate for client rights).
First of all if you ask just about any citizen on the street if they knew about a child being abused would they report it? Many would say yes, but would they or are they just giving you the answer that you want to hear?
Surprisingly to find, although people admit child abuse is wrong, psychologically they just do not connect family abuse as being a legal problem; many see it more of a personal family issue.
This examiner has been on forums where people have asked if they should or not report a neighbour whom they believed is abusing their children. Right there that is not an immediate yes when you fill in the a yes or no survey or poll. The sad fact of the matter is that many people do not report abuse.
Why prevents Montrealers from reporting abuse?
Claim they didn’t know it was happening
Afraid to lose friendships with the adults involved
Not sure if is their business to report such crimes
Not even sure what is abuse and what isn’t
Afraid to get somebody in trouble
A private survey on child abuse may yield more honest answers than polling someone face to face on the street. According to Childhelp USA, “surveys have shown that, although the majority of Americans polled believe that everyone should play a role in stopping child abuse, many people also admit to witnessing child abuse and doing nothing about it.” This is a universal human nature tendency and Montrealers are not really all that different.
To be continued