QUINCY, IL (WGEM) – Local advocates say domestic violence in our community has gone up since the start of the pandemic.
April marks national child abuse awareness month and Quanada is offering a free virtual program geared toward helping people spot the signs of abuse.
JJ Magliocco, a preventionist at Quanada, said children are one of the groups least likely to report abuse.
That’s why they say it’s important especially for those who work with kids like teachers, daycare workers and church youth leaders to be able to help.
“Some kids are very open about their lives and what’s happening with them and others are going to be more secretive about it there’s no sign where ‘this is a definite’, but there are definitely things that if you work with kids you can start to pick up on,” said Magliocco.
Jamie Carroll, a child advocate with the Advocacy Network for Children said children are not always able to understand the abuse that’s happening or are too scared to report it because the abuser is often a family member or family friend.
Carroll said it is happening locally.
“One in four girls and one in six boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday, so it is happening here. And the number of cases is under-reported, so it’s probably happening more often honestly,” said Carroll.
Carroll says some signs to look out for that a child in your life may be experiencing abuse are drastic changes in personality including becoming withdrawn or overly touchy.
Carroll says if you spot these signs, it’s important to report the abuse to the Department of Child and Family Services hotline at (217) 785-2509.