Why Child Advocacy Centers Need a Forensics Video Recording System

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(Newswire.net — May 11, 2021) — Child abuse is a major problem that affects millions of kids each year. According to statistics published by DoSomething.org, an estimated 1 in 7 kids in America have experienced abuse just in the last year. Those numbers include neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse.

Unfortunately, many children never tell anyone they’re being abused. Sometimes they feel embarrassed, but often they’re threatened. For example, perpetrators of sexual abuse commonly threaten to hurt a child’s parents or siblings if they talk about the abuse. In some cases, children are conditioned to believe they’re not being abused and don’t know they need to ask for help.

Child advocacy centers play a major role in stopping child abuse

Although a child may never directly talk about being abused, their body language and conversations with trained individuals can say everything. That’s why child advocacy centers are so important. Clinicians are trained to spot signs of child abuse and can take the appropriate steps when abuse is suspected.

What are child advocacy centers?

Child advocacy centers provide communities with multiple services for children and their families who have been impacted by abuse. The abuse can include physical, psychological, or sexual abuse.

The main purpose of a child advocacy center is to provide a central location for families and children to receive all relevant services. Those services can include meetings with child protective services (CPS) as well as interviews with law enforcement, prosecutors, and counselors.

A video recording system can help therapists spot subtle clues of child abuse

Therapists who work in child advocacy centers are in a unique position to spot child abuse. However, it’s often hard to recognize the subtler clues without reviewing a video of the child’s interview.

Some signs of child abuse are so subtle they require viewing a child’s behavior and reviewing their words several times. That’s what makes a forensics video recording system so powerful.

A forensics video recording system, like the one offered by Intelligent Video Solutions, provides child advocacy centers with a reliable tool to help combat child abuse. Forensic interviews with a child play a critical role in criminal investigations that may aid in getting a conviction for child abuse. It’s critical for these interviews to be recorded to serve as an accurate, easily accessible record.

The VALT system created by Intelligent Video Solutions provides a powerful, high-quality, secure video recording system for child advocacy centers. Each time a forensic interview is recorded, it’s securely stored in a database and can be tagged with metadata to make it easy to find through a search. There’s also a talkback feature that allows someone to communicate with the interviewer through an invisible earbud.

Most importantly, the security features are HIPAA-compliant, utilizing high-level encryption, a strict user rights management structure, and strict user authentication protocols.

Child advocacy centers using this type of high-tech video recording system will be able to help more children than other centers not taking advantage of this technology.

Child abuse has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic

Statistics show that child abuse tends to increase during difficult times and the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be no exception.

Some states in the US have reported an increase in child abuse 911 calls during the pandemic. According to JAMA, child abuse in the UK has risen sharply during the pandemic, with a large increase in head trauma during the first month of required self-isolation.

Data published by JAMA shows that during the initial period of self-isolation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London treated 10 children for head trauma (brain bleeding and skull fractures) caused by suspected abuse.

Officials attribute the increase in child abuse cases to the fact that schools had been closed, and parents were under even more pressure than usual from lost income and being isolated from friends and relatives. Although it’s certainly not an excuse for child abuse, the school closures do explain the increase, especially if those parents already have a history of being abusive.

Abused children need all the help they can get

Children who have been or are being abused deserve all the help they can get. Part of that help requires relying on technology to spot potential signs of abuse. When a counselor interviews an abused child, they need to put all their focus on engaging with that child. It’s hard to be present with a child and also assess body language in-depth at the same time.

Video recording technology makes it easier for counselors to give their full attention to a child in the moment. Reviewing the video afterward helps counselors identify the subtle signs of abuse that can support a child abuse conviction.