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SPECIAL REPORT: Child abuse cases spike, with kids back in school

Teachers are often the ones to report abuse, and now the bruises hidden during quarantine, are being seen once again - News 11's Jenny Day goes in-depth

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Kids across the nation were physically out of school for about a year and sadly some, behind closed doors, were trapped at home with abusive parents. 

A ripple affect, of the coronavirus pandemic. 

With school now back in session, the number of cases are sadly skyrocketing as the bruises are now being seen once again.  Teachers are unsung heroes and are often the ones to report abuse.

"For the longest time, we never even saw kids out. It was one of the unintended consequences - COVID forced kids to be at home with no way out," Diane Umphress said, who is the Executive Director of Amberly's Place.  "Masks have given us a reason not to look at people," she added.

 Data during the pandemic actually shows there's been a decrease in child abuse, but Umphress says, it's only because they're going unreported.  "I expect the abuse to be higher, and much more severe. School started up again and that very minute, numbers started going back up again. We get calls every single day."

If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, she says, trust that. There is a non-emergency line you can call, and police will simply do a welfare check. 

Amberly's Place: 928-373-0849

Imperial County Child Protective Services: 760-337-7750

As Seen on TV / Local Coronavirus / Special Reports / Yuma County Coronavirus

Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

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