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The Mercer County Child Advocacy Center reports a 22.5% increase in children served

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:03 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - A rising child abuse case count is a trend being felt here in Mercer County, where there is a 22.5% increase in children served by the Child Advocacy Center.

Program Director Beth Sizemore credits the end of the pandemic lockdown for the sudden jump in numbers.

That translates to fewer people who might see signs of abuse. Sizemore says a common misconception amongst parents is that alleged abusers are total strangers. C.A.C reports 98% of alleged offenders were people known to the child.

Then comes the challenge of reporting alleged abusers, which to many, comes as a challenge considering the offender is often someone they know.

The Mercer County C.A.C reported that 96% of parents or caregivers said that if they knew a family member was in a similar position they would refer them to the Child Protect of Mercer County.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of child abuse, you can call the West Virginia child abuse hotline at 1-800-352-6513.

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