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Calls about child abuse are up from this time last year, SAFE Alliance says

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has seen a decrease in abuse reports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas — The SAFE Alliance said calls about child abuse or parenting support are up 42% this April compared to last year.

However, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) said it actually saw a decrease in abuse reports earlier this month and last month.

In the first week of March 2020, DFPS recorded more than 11,000 child abuse reports. The number of reports then went down by more than a thousand every week. In the last full week in March, less than 6,000 reports were made, about a 48% drop from the beginning of the month to the end.

The department said the decline in reports is likely because children aren't in school.


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"If children are at home and they don’t have as many pairs of eyes on them, and we know this is a particularly stressful time, then it could put children who are already at risk at higher risk of abuse and neglect," said Marissa Gonzales with DFPS said.

You can still watch for and report child abuse if you see it. Some of the things the State recommends looking out for include frequent injuries, aggressive behavior, fear of seeing parents, lack of cleanliness and clothing meant to hide injuries.

WATCH: Texas child abuse reports down amid stay-at-home orders, DFPS says


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