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Amberly’s Place continues operations, sees ‘scary’ drop in cases

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YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Amberly's Place continues to serve the community in spite of all the changes brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, but it's something that isn't changing that's raising concerns for Amberly's executive director.

Amberly’s place said its numbers haven’t gone up and Diane Umphress finds that more than a little alarming.

"They should not be down. Statistically, we know over the years that when children are home that abuse goes up,” said Umphress.

In February there were 266 cases and in March there were 244, according to Amberly's Place statistics.

Umphress wonders if she's seeing the calm before the storm.

“We know that those floodgates are going to open and when they do, I’m really concerned about what’s going on in our homes right now," said Umphress.

Teachers who usually watch over their students in the classroom are now trying to keep a virtual eye on the kids from far away. Educators can still call for a welfare check if they see something that raises suspicions.

The doors are still open at Amberly’s Place. It's just the way they do things that have changed.

“All the changes we’ve made is that we are not responding on the scene right now and that’s for the protection of the victims. We don’t want to be going into their homes with other people there not knowing who we might’ve been in contact with,” said Diane Umphress, executive director of Amberly's Place.

In the meantime, Amberly's staffers are keeping their building sanatized for those who need their services.

“Now it’s obviously a more controlled environment. The environment is cleaned three times per day and so all door handles are cleaned on an ongoing basis," said Umpohress.

If you need services you can call (928) 373-0849 or head to their location.

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Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.

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