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Children at risk of abuse during coronavirus pandemic

Stress that relates to school closures, economic uncertainty and job loss are all possible triggers.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As daycares and schools are closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, many children are at an increased risk of abuse at home.

Stress that relates to school closures, economic uncertainty and job loss are all possible triggers.

Dr. Christie Jenkins, the CEO of the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center in Toledo, said child abuse cases can't be discounted because children don't have the same means to tell others what's going on. 

"Typically they might have gone to school, reported something to a teacher or counselor or maybe someone might've seen something and they just don't have that outlet anymore," she said. 

Another precipitating factor of being at home is an increase in sexual abuse.

"If you're noticing any sort of odd behavioral issues or emotional issues, especially if you're someone from the outside looking in, pay attention to those and ask the right questions," Jenkins said. 

Parents should also be mindful of their child's mobile and online activity now that they're staying at home.  

"Kids can be talking with perpetrators of abuse and not even know it so just being mindful of that and checking and asking questions. There are all kinds of apps you can download to kind of monitor their time and where they're going, what they're able to access," the doctor said.

Jenkins said that their workers have been checking in with survivors of abuse and continuing their telehealth service, but she fears that this is just the beginning. The longer victims are stuck without an outlet, the more violence will amp up. 

RELATED: Toledo police see increase in domestic violence calls during coronavirus spread

RELATED: Resources to combat domestic violence amid COVID-19 pandemic

COUNSELING 

Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center  –  (2460 Cherry St., Toledo, OH) - 419.244.3053

A Renewed Mind  –  (1832 Adams St., Toledo, OH) - 419.720.9247

Cullen Center for Families (Toledo Children’s Hospital) – (2150 Central Ave., Toledo, OH) - 419.291.7919

Harbor Behavioral Healthcare  –  (4429 Secor Rd., Toledo, OH) – 419.475.5338

The University of Toledo Medical Center: Kobacker Center – (3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH ) – 419.383-3815

Unison -  (1425 Starr Ave., Toledo, OH ) – 419.693.0631

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT GROUPS

Survivor to Thriver 
419.244.3053 ext. 248

Children Who Witness Violence Support Group 
419.244.3053 ext. 248

Adelante, Inc. (Broadway St) – 419.244.8440 
The Hispanic Family Violence Program, Women’s Support Group, to all women in 43605, 43608, and 43609 zip codes, and to all Latina women regardless of residence. 

Short-Term Options:

YWCA Battered Woman's Shelter House (crisis line) – 419.241.7386 

Toll free 888.341.7386
24 hour emergency shelter for women and their children

The Cocoon Shelter – 805.352.1545 (THE LINK)
24 hour safe housing program for women and children impacted by domestic violence. Call to access cocoon services.

Long-Term Options:

Bethany House – 419.727.4948
Long-term transitional shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children 

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