SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local nonprofit is offering a free class to teach people what signs to look for in a child that is being abused.

Staff at the Children’s Safety Center in Springdale said child abuse calls have actually gone down during this pandemic, even though it’s probably happening more.

Casey Atwood is the program director at the center and predicts that not only is abuse happening more often, it’s likely more severe.

Atwood said about 90% of kids are abused by someone they know and being home most of the day could put the children even more at risk. 

Atwood said this is a time for everyone to be intentional about learning the signs to look out for.

“Even if you’re not a mandated reporter, there really is a moral obligation to make a report if you ever suspect any type of child abuse,” Atwood said. “So I think that it’s really important that people may not have as much access to mandated reporters, but they are going to have a lot more neighbors and other people that may come in contact with them.”

The free virtual class will go from 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24. To sign up, email Casey Atwood at casey@chilrenssafetycenter.org.