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Child abuse cases tend to surge during times of crisis

During disasters or crisis, there's usually an uptick in child abuse cases. However, reported cases have been on a decline due to less in-person contact.

TEXAS, USA — When crisis or a disaster occurs, or even a global pandemic, stress ends to rise. Stressors form from things we can't control in the workplace, school and even at home. In some cases, results in parents or guardians taking their anger or frustration out on children. The child abuse or neglect may start.

"Child abuse or neglect so neglect could be not providing for basic needs, not providing for medical or dental. Not giving them an inhaler if they have asthma anything that's going to put the child at risk or risk of harm," says Paula Cox, Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center.

With the pandemic, studies reported a decline in reported a decline in reported cases by 59%. A decline that still doesn't mean the abuse has stopped, the abuse may just be being seen by those outside the home. 

At the Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center, they tend to see different forms of abuse often, whether physical or emotional.

"Physical abuse is very broad, it’s something you have to take case by case,' says Cox, "there’s emotional neglect, ignoring and the words that people use, demeaning and belittling. It can be very harmful to kids."

Advocacy centers, like MRCCAC, have continued to address the ongoing issue. 

"The advocate can talk about here’s what to expect now that this is going on. This is the process going on and how they can help and meet some needs the family might need from this point on," says Cox.

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