Children are faced with many obstacles these days — the pandemic and having to engage in distance learning definitely don’t help.

While it’s difficult for some to adjust to a new way of doing things, it’s even worse for others — especially those stuck in an abusive home, with no reprieve and no end in sight.

Going to school oftentimes serves as an escape for children who are suffering abuse at home. But with that option gone, children in those situations are trapped — whether they are at home all day with the abuser, or only when that person gets home. 

If they are lucky, an adult outside of the home will recognize what is going on and get help, but even in the best situation, that’s not always the case. Take Gabriel Fernandez, for example. Despite the myriad red flags and reports of abuse, his story did not have a good outcome. Nor did Noah Cuatro’s or Anthony Avila’s. DCFS did little to stop the abuse and as a result, all these children died at the hands of their parents.

It seems we only pay attention to these situations when a child dies and makes headlines, otherwise it seems to be out of sight, out of mind for many.

That shouldn’t be the case. Two teens were found dead in their Lancaster home in mid-December and their father is accused of the crime. Firefighters responded to the home regarding a possible gas leak, after a neighbor called to report smelling “gas.” It turned out there was no gas leak and the smell coming from the home was not gas.

There were other children in the home that may have witnessed their father kill their siblings. How did the neighbors not hear commotion coming from that home? Even if they didn’t hear anything related to the incident that resulted in the two deaths, surely they heard something at some other time, prior?

That’s not to say that whenever you hear something at a neighbor’s house, you should call the police, but if you do hear something like an argument or screaming or anything else of concern, then yes, by all means, report it.

If you grew up in a loving home, consider yourself lucky. Not every child has a safe, nurturing environment to go home to after school and the sad reality is, those being abused usually suffer in silence and no one knows until it’s too late.

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