It was unbelievable: one snap judgment left a mother from Connecticut shaken to her core. Patty Levreault was home with the kids one morning.
Her son and daughter were watching some television in the living room when the doorbell rang.
Still in her pajamas, Levreault saw that it was a delivery man and didn’t feel like answering the door.
“I was just like, okay, well, I’m going to see if he leaves his package on the porch,” Levreault told ABC News. “I went to the bathroom and five minutes later, three cop cars showed up.”
The delivery person believed her two children were home alone and reported her to child services.
Levreault feared she could go to jail or have her children taken away.
“I was mortified,” said Levreault.
Levreault believes the incident is a part of a larger trend called “parent shaming.” It’s when strangers make quick judgments about other parents without having all of the necessary information to make those judgments. It’s as though parents are expected to be perfect 100 percent of the time, and others are looking for reasons to point out their shortcomings.
“People are shamed today for letting their child play in front of their house in an unfenced yard and letting a child walk to school alone,” said Dana Points, Editor-in-Chief of Parents magazine.
New data reveals that the majority of calls to Child Protective Services are unfounded. Calls of possible child abuse are up 12 percent to 3.5 million per year, meanwhile, actual child abuse is down 4 percent to about 679,000 real cases.
While it is great that people want to be sure that children are safe, it is important to fully assess the situation before acting.
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