Tramelle Sturgis case to have long lasting impact on community - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Tramelle Sturgis case to have long lasting impact on community

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As the community talks about Tramelle Sturgis they're also talking about the bigger issue child abuse.  It has been in the spotlight since the terrible tragedy of his death.

Candy Yoder the president at Child and Parent Services tells me it's a shame it took the tragedy of Tramelle's death to put this front and center.  But people do want to know more now about child abuse and how to report it.

After the death of Tramelle local residents were outraged and they came face to face with the issue of child abuse.  Debra Landis said,  "I think they've seen what happened to a whole family of children and how severe it was to one boy."

But if it's possible, that any good can come from this unthinkable tragedy, some say it's that another child may be saved.  "More people are willing to get involved now they're not thinking it has to be so hush hush and they're not so afraid to get involved," said Landis.

Child and Parent Services President , Candy Yoder, agrees.  And she believes it's due in large part to the Sturgis case because it brought the issue to the forefront.  "This has created a community conversation about child abuse and the reality of child abuse."

It has continually created a conversation on the streets.  Yoder said, "I know there were vigils in communities and raising awareness asking for neighbors to look out for neighbors."  It also sparked conversations online, on a "Justice for Tramelle Sturgis" Facebook page.  "I think people were outraged that a child died so they want to know what to do, how to make a difference, how to protect children," said Yoder.

And Yoder said part of helping children is not forgetting that child abuse won't go away when all the attention about Tramelle Sturgis and his family goes away.  She said it's important that people don't stop thinking about it and continue to report anything they think is suspicious.

Yoder says some common signs are bruises in strange places or that can't be explained by normal kid behavior like falling off a bike.  Also if a child's behavior dramatically changes or if the child themselves makes a comment about being abused.

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