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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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You Can Make A Difference

June 2012

There are several high profile child molestation cases in the news right now. These cases are always very disturbing to hear about, however wonderful it is that these perpetrators were caught and put far away from any child that they may harm. One of the more disturbing aspects is finding out that someone might have known or suspected that a child was being hurt, but did not say anything.

It is very easy when we are sitting on our couches at home to say. “That is terrible! I would never do that! I would immediately report that!” However, the reality is that when we are confronted with something outside our normal lives, we often do not know how to react. We get scared, paralyzed. We do not act. That is a normal human reaction. We often try to deny what we have seen because it is too horrifying to take in. Again, human.

But I want to take a minute here to encourage any of you who have seen a child being hurt, to stop. Take a deep breath. Give yourself permission to really allow yourself to know what you have seen or heard. There is a child who needs help. You have the power to help them. You really do. You can call the police. If you are a child, you can tell a teacher. If you do not want your name to be involved in the situation, you can call Child Protective Services anonymously. That’s right; you can give them the information without revealing who you are! You can save a child without fear that you will have any consequences.

Just remember, you can truly make an enormous difference in a child’s life. You can stop the pain and the hurt. Please do not hesitate to make that phone call. You are saving a child.

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