SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - You might have seen a lot of blue this month. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center is one of several organizations in Chatham County specifically helping children suffering from abuse. Executive Director Rose Grant-Robinson says in 2020, they saw over 260 children between the ages of three and 18 who had been physically or sexually abused.
“These are the ones that have reported,” said Grant-Robinson.
Of those who reported, only 15 children were Hispanic.
“We know that number should be way higher than that,” said Grant-Robinson.
She says that low reporting numbers are one of the reasons they started their Hispanic Outreach Center. She also says the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning also impacted data from 2020.
“We didn’t see as many calls come in as we did before,” Grant-Robinson said. “But we saw where kids were being affected that way because of the fact they didn’t have an outlet. They didn’t have avenues to talk to, be with a group of friends and be able to notice things.”
Grant-Robinson encourages the community to continue supporting local agencies assisting children. She also says it’s vital parents and other adults continue to pay attention and listen.
“This whole past year has been different for all of us but at the same time we forget that kids are struggling too. Just keep in mind and be open to talk with them about anything, listen to them when they want to talk to you. Sometimes they’re really giving you a hint of something that’s going on in their life,” she said.
Grant-Robinson recommends that parents look out for signs of depression, cutting, bruises or a change in mood or personality.