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TPD warns community to watch out for child abuse signs as pandemic continues to leave cases unreported

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Reports of child abuse have plummeted during the pandemic.

However, this is not because fewer kids were abused, but because they were at home, away from professionals like teachers, who are trained to spot abuse and neglect.

This means authorities are relying on non-mandatory reporters to flag possible child abuse.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Tucson Police Department held a press conference Thursday to bring awareness to the issue.

"You might think it's not your business, but it's your responsibility," said Marie Fordney, executive director of the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center. "You might think that you are just a neighbor or a friend. But since you're the only one maybe seeing what you see, you could be a hero for that child."

The Tucson Police Department also says the volume of internet crime aimed at kids has been overwhelming.

"With online schooling, online activity the access for online predators obviously went up," said Lt. James Brady.

If you suspect child abuse, you can contact the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center. The group provides resources for people who think they have witnessed abuse or neglect.

Shelle Jackson

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