DA Clark: Child abuse reports are alarmingly low, victims possibly not being helped

The number of child abuse reports are dropping significantly in the Bronx, but the district attorney says this is not good news, but rather a sign that victims are not being helped.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2020, 4:38 PM

Updated 1,486 days ago

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The number of child abuse reports are dropping significantly in the Bronx, but the district attorney says this is not good news, but rather a sign that victims are not being helped.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark says social distancing during the pandemic is isolating children from other caretakers who would normally speak up if they sensed abuse at home.
"We had an instance recently where a teacher was doing a home-schooling and noticed the child had a black eye and that teacher reported it to the authorities, and now there's an investigation going on that. So, we need people to be hypersensitive,” says Clark.
New York City.
In April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Clark says her office helped investigate 34 incidents of severe abuse in the Bronx, a much smaller number than the 103 incidents reported in March, when schools were still open for half the month, and in January, when life was normal.
"We know that this is alarming, because normally we'd have a lot more,” says Clark.
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The District Attorney had to cancel her annual child safety fair because of the COVID-19 crisis, but her child advocacy center is still operating.
"We're doing Zoom therapy sessions with clients. We've reached out to about 400 of our previous victims to make sure that they're OK,” says Clark.
She says she's relying on the public's help now more than ever.

"It's absolutely vital because we don't have the access to the children that we normally have,” says Clark.
The city's Administration for Children's Services says in part, "We have taken steps to enhance oversight of child safety including collaborating with other city agencies who continue to have contact with children and increasing public awareness so that all New Yorkers understand their responsibility to report suspected abuse or neglect."


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