Anniversary of Carlson Suicide Prompts Reminder About Reporting Abuse
A year ago, Rev. Bob Carlson jumped to his death off the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. After his suicide, allegations came to light that Carlson, who had been a respected member of the community, had sexually abused children. It brought up a lot of conversation about whether warning signs had been missed by people around Carlson.Dr. Erik Steele of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems says it’s important that adults look for warning signs of sexual abuse, including physical signs, but also emotional signs, like if a child changes his or her behavior.If a parent has any suspicions, he says they should tell their healthcare provider, who would know the best way to handle the situation. But in some cases, it might be someone else who’s close to the child who notices something just isn’t right and it might be someone at home who’s the abuser.”State law requires reporting. It’s not your job as a teacher or as somebody outside the family to conduct your own investigation, that’s what the police, that’s what child protective services, etc. are for. So your job is to report your suspicion,” said Dr. Steele.Maine Child and Family Services has a 24-hour hotline. To report child abuse, call 1-800-452-1999.