It’s the law: If you know of child abuse, you have to report it
Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023
It’s the law.
In North Carolina, every person over the age of 18 is considered a mandated reporter of child abuse and neglect.
However, those laws are not widely known or understood.
“W to the 5th power” (W5) is a new campaign with the mission to ensure all adults in North Carolina understand their legal and moral responsibility to protect children by reporting all forms of child abuse and neglect, because the burden should not be on the child to protect themselves, said Brandi Reagan, executive director of the Dragonfly House Childrens Advocacy Center in Mocksville.
Education is focused on the “Who, What, When, Where, and Why” surrounding mandated reporting laws, the forms of child abuse and neglect along with signs and symptoms to be aware of, how and where to make a report when you do become aware of it, and why it is important for everyone to understand their responsibility to protect children and bring an end to child abuse and neglect.
Reagan helped create this campaign after too many cases continue to come through the doors involving children who have suffered severe abuse where adults in the child’s lives knew the abuse was occurring and didn’t know what to do or how to stop it.
“There are laws already on record in North Carolina to address this very issue and to protect children, yet these laws serve no purpose if the individuals mandated by these laws don’t even know they exist,” she said. “The impact of children’s lives forever being changed and the lifetime costs associated with adverse childhood experiences are going to be too large to overcome if we don’t bring more awareness to what mandated reporting is. There are people who see things and want to help, but have no idea who to call or where to start. Hopefully this campaign will help bridge that gap.”
Kaitlin Page, owner of Lotus Marketing, has been a trusted partner of The Dragonfly House for years, providing marketing, website, and social media services. When The Dragonfly House needed to create a campaign to fulfill mandated reporting requirements, they knew who to turn to for guidance. “It is an honor to be asked by Brandi and her team at The Dragonfly House to lead this campaign,” Page said. “The W5 initiative is incredibly important in bringing awareness and resources to those who have been impacted by abuse. We hope to create a catchy and memorable campaign that will make a significant impact in our community.”
The W5 Campaign has gained tremendous momentum with the addition of two more Children’s Advocacy Centers – Robin’s Nest of Caldwell County and Terri Hess House in Rowan County. The W5 Campaign is aimed at empowering individuals with knowledge and resources to identify abuse, seek help, and take action.
With the addition of Robin’s Nest and Terri Hess House, the W5 Campaign is set to make an even greater impact in communities across North Carolina, Reagan said.
The agencies are committed to working together to provide training and resources to individuals, businesses, civic groups, church groups, and school groups. The campaign will focus on raising awareness of the five key questions that individuals should ask themselves or others who may be experiencing abuse: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
This vision of this campaign is not just about raising awareness; it is also about empowering communities to take action to protect children from abuse and neglect. That’s why the campaign offers training and presentations to individuals and groups in North Carolina.
These training sessions provide a comprehensive look at the mandated reporting process in North Carolina and equip participants with the knowledge and tools they need to identify all forms of abuse, seek help, and take action, Reagan said.
“As W5 gains momentum, we encourage everyone to join us in supporting this important cause. Together, we can make a difference and create a safer, healthier, and happier world for our children.”
For more information, visit www.thedragonflyhouse.com or contact Reagan at 336-753-6155 or Brandi@thedragonflyhouse.com.