In Meridian, there are concerns about the child abuse rate going up, while families are isolated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Social Worker, Andrea Germany, tells Twin States that many students view school as a safe haven away from abuse and neglect, and with schools being closed --students are not able to access the help may need to be safe.
“Well school is a safe haven for most children, and it’s a place where they get lunch, their loved and where we can monitor them for signs of abuse and neglect during times of stress, we tend to see that abuse rates do go up and I think the nation as a whole is under stress right now, both emotionally and financially. So, we are concerned about the rate of child abuse going up”, said Andrea Germany, social worker with the Meridian Public-School District.
She suggests that people reach out to their neighbors and friends during this time of isolation, to check on them and ensure that everyone is safe.
“Also, since we’re all isolated right now, those children that are being abused are going to be what we call invisible abused cases, so no one may see them. About a third of abuse cases are reported by school personnel, so without being in school, those child abuse cases may not be reported”, said Germany.
It is advised that if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, that you report it to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services.