State advocates concerned about child abuse

Florida Coronavirus News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) — Advocates are worried about the effects of coronavirus on at-risk children and other vulnerable populations, as the economy worsens and stress in the home goes up.

Calls to Florida’s abuse hotline in March are up over 30 percent from February. Statistics from the Department of Children and Families show more than 34 thousand calls placed in the first four weeks of March, compared to roughly 26 thousand calls during February.

Victims advocates say the usual trend is that there are fewer calls during vacations and school breaks, since teachers and counselors don’t see kids daily, and because a victim of domestic violence is less likely to have time away from her abuser.

Alan Abramowitz is the Executive Director of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program, which works with disadvantaged kids. He said unemployment and other economic stressors are often a trigger for child abuse and domestic violence.

“We need to look out for each other. We need to know that if we are frustrated and we are in a house, maybe the adult needs to take a timeout,” Abramowitz said. “This is a very important time for our families.”

Florida’s abuse hotline is staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached at 1-800-962-2873.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News Video

Tracking the Tropics: Development possible in Caribbean later this week or this weekend

Panhandle students overcoming challenges

Erosion causes brown water

Residents of Sally-damaged apartments at a loss for where to move

Spanish Trail Farms opens Pumpkin Patch

Local teachers union discuses issues they want changed at the state level

More Local News

Golf Pass