It's a crime that's unthinkable, but happens everyday in communities across the nation and continues despite ever toughening laws and constant attempts by law enforcement to bring it to an end.
The problem of child abuse in Polk County is just as prominent as anywhere else, one that a local official hopes can be brought to an end with the help of better information and training for law enforcement.
Polk County Deputy Coroner Marty Robinson, who also wears the hat locally of head of Redmond Regional Medical Center's ambulance service, also wears another. He's one of 25 across the state who have been trained in a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-organized program designed to help educate everyone involved in the life of a child who could potentially be suffering from abuse.
On Thursday at 9 a.m., Robinson and another educator from the region will be gathering with law enforcement officials, social workers from the Department of Family and Children's Services and others to provide a variety of information and education on providing safety and care for children who have been suffering from abuse.
The class will be taking place at the Polk County Emergency Management Agency's headquarters.
He said in recent months the need for the class has grown following previous incidents that could have been prevented if warning signs had been better known and understood.
The four-hour long class is free, and provides information on the various ways to identify that abuse is happening, signs of it in the home and in public, demographic details to look at the issue overall and more, Robinson said.
"We want to give those most involved in fighting child abuse any kind of information that helps people clue in to what's happening in a child's life," he said.
The class will also go over what could be considered abuse by some, but isn't due to the differences in religious and cultural ideals in contemporary society, since different people have different practices in raising children.
Robinson said the need for the class has grown over the past year, and that it's his hope that by providing the educational opportunity that child abuse will be exposed and better prosecuted across the community.
He added that if there are additional people who want to attend but can't make it to Thursday's class, a second chance could be made available if enough people request another class in the future.