“Mandated reporters are usually required to give their name when they make a report, but are allowed to request anonymity to protect “their” privacy. Anonymity and privacy is a two way street that also needs to be afforded to the very same families that are caught up in this kind of crisis.”
Mandated reporters typically are not obligated to inform parents, siblings or offspring that a report has been made. In cases of sexual abuse, we are told that it may be unwise to advise caregivers before a case is reported, since it would likely interfere with the forthcoming criminal investigation. Families are often unaware that their right of patient confidentiality does not exist and re then blindsided by a retribution driven system that includes public humiliation, financial devastation, public ostracism and lifelong punishment. This puts mandated reporters in the unenviable position where they must not only report their suspicions to the legal system, but often are not even allowed to counsel with family members or guardians and offer the support and guidance that was originally sought. Unfortunately the support and guidance for the family are now strictly regulated and controlled by the legal system.
Mandated reporting requirements generally apply to, but are not limited to the following: Adult Protective Service Employees, Caregivers, Child Advocates, Child Protective Service Employees, Chiropractors, Clergy, Commercial Film and Photographic Print Processors, Mediators, Medical Examiners, Mental Health Professionals, Nurses, Optometrists, Parole Officers, Paralegals, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Physician Assistants, Physicians, Podiatrists, Police Officers, Psychologists, Public Health Service Providers responsible for the licensing or monitoring of Child Day-Care Homes, Youth Camp Professional Counselors, Resident Medical Interns, School Teachers, Coaches, Guidance Counselors, Paraprofessionals, and Principals, Sexual Assault and Battered Women’s Counselors, Social Workers, Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Counselors, Undergrad or Graduate Level Students in the Human Services, Counseling, or Social Work Fields.
Many of these professionals are the very same professionals that families should turn to in time of crisis, and unknowingly families do turn to them. These professionals have been educated and trained in these specific areas to restore people and families in crisis. They now find themselves forced under penalty of law to further destroy the very families; their children included that turn to them for help. Patient confidentiality has been voided and yet that same confidentiality is the one vital key to build a binding family trust. Without this trust the family will be publicly humiliated, branded, socially destroyed and financially devastated. In the meantime, we then allow the 93% of abuse to continue unchecked. Ironically the same people that coined the term “No More Victims” intentionally and knowingly tolerate this victimization and allow it to continue, while at the same time fully realizing that it creates even more victims through this damage.
Do you believe that retribution driven strategies are a better deterrent than a proposal for rehabilitation? Do the financial and punitive needs of those few in control outweigh the moral and emotional needs of many of the 93% that need and would willingly seek professional help if confidentially were available?
Once a family has been reported the media will claim that as a society we have saved one golden child from abuse and arrested the abuser for punishment.
However, you will not be told that we have also just created more victims through the Government Induced Victimization Effect. How is that you ask? If the abuser is in the immediate family, the children, will often be removed thus traumatizing everyone. If the offender is the primary source of income, that financial support has often creased along with the family health insurance, and the ability to pay for housing, their utility bills, to buy food, make car and insurance payments, buy gasoline and pay for all their other personal living expenses that we all have. Their family loved one is now sitting in jail facing charges, with no money for bail bond or an attorney. If or when they do gain their release by paying exorbitant amounts of money in bail, they may not even be allowed to return to their home or have contact with any of their children that are under the age of consent. If any of the charges become convictions, they often face years of incarceration, any professional licenses they may have earned are revoked and their family is left in financial ruin. If the offender is a cousin, aunt, uncle or grandparent, the Government Induced Victimization Effect may well be quadrupled.
Socially there is character assassination for the entire family. This destruction of the family as a whole is necessary and inevitable. It is necessary because our society does not want anyone feeling anything but disgust for this family as a whole. This entire family will now and forever be under the public’s scrutiny. It also provides a separation allowing all other families in our society to feel that they and their families are much better than this family and that this does not happen to families like theirs when the reality is this could easily happen within their own family. It all starts with mandatory reporting that leads to retribution based justice and provides a platform for society to stand and deliver their shame, guilt and fact-less innuendo. Our societies’ thinking has been rewired from redemption and forgiveness to the concept that if a little punishment is good then a lot of punishment is better.
The personal effect mandated reporting has non children who have been sexually abused is far more devastating than helpful The real reason so many in our society appear so outraged at sexual abuse is that, in the depths of their own conscience they earnestly must believe and sell to an unsuspecting public that abuse, no matter how minor, soils those children beyond repair.
They will sell to you the well-used rhetoric that once a child has had a sexual experience, they are forever less of a human being and that it is impossible for youngsters to ever recover once they have been abused. This is simply not true. Therapy or counseling for young children just as it is for adults is highly effective if acted on early and confidentially.