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Child abuse going unreported during COVID-19

Since the pandemic, the reported child abuses cases are surprisingly at a decrease compared to previous years, but that does not mean there is less abuse happening.
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:42 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - With the start of the school year just a month away, many kids have been home since March due to the pandemic.

According to a local organization, this quarantine has caused some concern with the number of child abuse cases.

Since the pandemic, the reported child abuses cases are surprisingly at a decrease compared to previous years, but that does not mean there is less abuse happening.

This comes after Governor Greg Abbott ordered schools in Texas to close in March.

In March, the reported child abuse cases in Laredo and Webb County had a 9.25% increase compared to the year before where in April, they sharply declined to 63% less than the previous year.

The numbers started trending towards more typical averages in June. Overall, there was a decrease of 21% between the months of March and June.

Here in Webb County, the Child Advocacy Center says the only thing this means is that children are losing their voices because they are away from the public eye, now that they are not attending school or being seen by their loved ones other than their parents.

The executive director talks about reasons why this is happening.

“Parents, adults, are getting very anxious,” said Doctor Severita Sanchez of Child Advocacy Center. “They’re experiencing feelings that they have never experienced before-unemployment, they’re going through economic hardship, the insecurity of food, where’s my next bill going to be paid from? The loss of their daily schedule, and lots of stress, and all of this we take it out sometimes on our most vulnerable population, and that is our children.”

They say they are losing their children by having them home with their perpetrator and this is why the center recognizes the importance of having children at school, face to face.

The Child Advocacy Center urges people to report any suspicion of child abuse to Laredo PD or to Child Protective Services.

The Child Advocacy Center is providing support for children, offering virtual activities to keep them busy.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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