PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Child abuse occurs even during a pandemic and is often much harder to detect.
Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center executive director, Lori Allen, said now more than ever community members can help children in need.
She said that while the center has received fewer abuse reports since the virus outbreak, new cases tend to be more alarming when they are reported.
This may be because the community has been isolating for the past couple of months, she said, leaving fewer witnesses of abuse to make reports on a child’s behalf. There are also fewer opportunities for children to be around others to ask for help, she added.
“It is very important right now in our community is to be the one the one with courage, and if you see something say something,” Allen said. “You may be the person that is the last breath of hope for someone who really needs safety or really needs help. Don’t be afraid to reach out on someone’s behalf, and it is all of our responsibility right now.”
To report a suspected abuse, you can call 1-800-962-2873 or visit the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s website for more information.