Child abuse cases climbing as kids return to the classroom

In Vigo County, child abuse cases are rising as more students head back to the classroom full-time.

Posted: Oct 14, 2020 7:40 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- In Vigo County, child abuse cases are rising as more students head back to the classroom full-time.

We've been monitoring the numbers since June when there was a decrease in reported cases. 

News 10 spoke with Emily Perry the executive director and founder of Susie's Place in Terre Haute.

According to Perry, the decline in cases wasn't a good thing and the pandemic may have contributed to the increase in abuse.

"That was the plan for the pandemic was to keep people safe from the virus by staying safe at home... but what we know about child abuse and neglect many kids are not safe in their home, more than 90% of perpetrators of child abuse are people that are known to the child," said Perry. 

Susie's place shows the number of cases increasing from April to June of this year as a result of the stay-at-home-order.

Perry tells us that their calls have increased by 25% and they anticipate an additional 25% of cases when all students go back full-time.

Abuse cases may become more known as students spend more time around trusted adults like teachers. 

Perry explains the importance of talking about abuse and taking preventative measures.

"Just like we talk about other parts of our kids day and lives we want to be talking to them about safety we want to talk about if something doesn't feel right it's probably not right and here's what you can do to get help if you need it," said Perry. 

If a child loses their appetite, has mood swings, or seems distant, these may be signs of abuse and it's important to check-in. If you suspect any type of abuse, report it.

Call the National Neglect and Abuse Hotline at 1-800-800-5556.

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