Editorials

Parade of little victims grows every year

Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons. He recently spoke about child abuse cases in the county, which are increasing. The additional prosecutions have brought forward more cases.
Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons. He recently spoke about child abuse cases in the county, which are increasing. The additional prosecutions have brought forward more cases. dholtmann@bnd.com

There are a lot of successes we all want to cheer. This isn’t one of them, exactly.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons was speaking at the Highland Moose Lodge recently. A few things that he said about child abuse and neglect were disturbing.

“The numbers go up each year. As we get better at prosecuting, more people come forward. For so many years, this has been swept under the rug,” Gibbons said.

Success as measured in woe.

He said 2015 was the busiest year ever for the county’s Child Advocacy Center with 650 children interviewed. That was a 28 percent increase from the previous year, but is still a small fraction of the 3,500 children every year that Gibbons estimated face abuse or neglect.

It must be a lousy task to know that the better you do, the more you will be asked to do — especially dealing with hurt little kids. Still, the damage increases exponentially when those who abuse children get away with it and feel empowered to do it again, much like rapists who are after control and power rather than the act itself.

Somebody has to stop them. Be grateful someone else is willing to do so.

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