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.
"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.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- Reopening Texas: Your questions answered
- Why medspas are able to open on May 1, but not nail and hair salons
- 'This is one of the things that we can do' | DAA ambassadors cleaning downtown ahead of businesses reopening
- Local plasma donors helping hospitalized COVID-19 patients
- Central Texas school districts break down what plans they have for fall months
- LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
- Local artist honors Austin health care workers with superhero murals
- Pressure builds for Texas to name nursing homes with COVID-19 cases
- Austin group uses 3D printers to make mask extenders for first responders and health care workers