Children reporting abuse more during COVID-19 pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The COVID-19 pandemic leaves families together for extended periods of time. Kids in the mountain state were sent home from school with concerns of the virus.
Just For Kids Executive Director, Scott Miller, said not every home creates a happy or safe environment.

“Abuse didn’t end. It just didn’t get reported,” Miller said.

Miller said abuse reports were down at the beginning of the pandemic. He said this was because many kids were stuck at home, away from trusted adults. Miller said reports are now coming back in. He told 59News it is not adults making a lot of these calls, it is the kids themselves.

“We don’t like the fact that kids have to take that level of responsibility, but it’s great that they are. We know it’s clearly mostly older kids who are able to use a phone and make a phone call,” Miller said.

Miller said making that call takes a lot of courage. He said people need to watch out for the kids in their community and teachers should be aware of what is going on in a student’s home life as school starts back. He said this kind of awareness from adults is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Looking out for kids is more important than ever. Anytime you see or are concerned about something that you see a child doing. Let somebody know about it,” Miller said.

Miller said speaking up can save a life. Call or text 1-(800)- 422-4453. The hotline is open 24/7.

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