More time at home could lead to child abuse, warns children advocacy centers

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A majority of abuse reporting comes from teachers, who now can't see the kids in person.

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Keeping children at home to protect them from the coronavirus could be exposing them to a different kind of threat.

With kids not it school, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County said it’s losing a line of defense in the fight against child abuse.

But, there are ways you can help.

Natalie Tibbs, the executive director of the center, said the quietness of the abuse hotline during this time speaks volumes.

She says a majority of reporting comes from teachers, who now can’t see the kids in person.

So, she’s calling on community members, neighbors, and people who come in contact with these children to become watchdogs and help keep them safe.

“That’s what’s important right now,” she said. Neighbors have to be concerned. This is a time to take care of each other and to look out for each other and this isn’t a time to just hole up and sit idly by. We have to be concerned about not only our own household, but the household next to us.”

For teachers instructing virtually, Tibbs encourages you to be extra vigilant and ask simple questions like “What does your day look like?” and “Do you feel safe?” to ensure the child is being treated properly ay home.

The child abuse hotline is 1-800-482-5964.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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