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More than 300 cases of child abuse in three months



Little Rock, Arkansas — When someone suspects there could be child abuse, organizations across town are stressing the importance of speaking out.

According to the executive director of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Elizabeth Pulley, within the past year, they’ve seen a 60 percent increase in cases they’ve handled.

Some signs of child abuse are not as visible as physical abuse where bruising could be spotted, Pulley said.

“Especially if children have withdrawn from activities: School, personal, and family activities,” said Pulley. “If they have depression anxiety, bed wetting, change in appetite.”

According to the director of the Children’s Protection Center, Jennifer Long, they have seen over 300 children since the start of 2022.

Most of the time children are abused by people they know. For that reason, she said it’s important for all community members to speak up, Long said. “People don’t like to talk about child abuse, so we don’t know how prevalent it is,” said Long. “Sometimes we think that it needs to be kept in the family or that we are actually doing the family a service by keeping it quiet and not reporting it.”

According to long, any child regardless of economic status, gender, or race can be impacted by abuse. “If a person suspects child abuse, it’s their job to call the child abuse hotline,” said Long. “And I use the word ‘suspect’ — it doesn’t mean they know it happened, they need to rely on the authorities who are trained and who are knowledgeable about what the laws are around child abuse.”

The Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline asks anyone who suspects abuse to contact at 1-844-482-5964.