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Concerns about unreported abuse come with ongoing pandemic, more children out of classroom

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 9:30 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With children in the Wichita school district out of the classroom for at least the next month, some advocates and healthcare workers fear more cases of child abuse could go unreported.

On Tuesday (Dec.1), Eyewitness News anchor and “Right Now” host Michael Schwanke interviewed a forensic nurse with Ascension Via Christi about the issue of unreported abuse. Registered Nurse Cathy Marlier said most of the time, teachers and other school staff members are the ones who report suspected child abuse cases. She said while reporting and forensic exams have dropped significantly, children are still being abused. That’s why she said it’s important for neighbors and other adults to watch out for children in their lives and to reach out to the hospital and law enforcement if you need help.

The concerns about unreported abuse aren’t limited to children and the move to remote learning. An overall concern with unreported abuse against adults, as well as children, comes with changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are here 24-7, always have someone available to help you. (We) want to make sure you’re getting the care you need and prevent further abuse,” Marlier said.

Via Christi does have special measures in place to keep you safe if you’re going in for a forensic exam. You can hear from Marlier in the full virtual interview with Schwanke here: Registered nurse discusses concerns about unreported abuse.

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