Child abuse instances increase during summer months - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Child abuse instances increase during summer months

Amarillo, TX - Summer vacation may mean an increase in abuse as students spend more time at home.

Child abuse instances increase for both The Bridge and CASA during the summer months, sometimes they nearly double.

The Bridge Children's Advocacy Center and CASA say there are many stresses adding to the increase in abuse.

"Sometimes mom and dad are having to pay for food when normally they would have been getting lunches and breakfast at school. Kids may be at home by themselves now because parents still have to work, even when school is out and they may not have the funds to send them to camp or to school," said Lara Escobar with CASA.

Another reason for the increase in cases seen, may be more children telling counselors at camp or family members they are visiting about the abuse.

"It also provides them with an opportunity that let's say abuse is happening at home or by someone in their neighborhood then they will go, they may go visit a relative and go, I'm going to tell them about it because they feel safer because they are not in that environment anymore," said April Leming with The Bridge.

To meet the increasing demand during the summer months, there are steps these children advocates have to take.

"Mentally we have to prepare for it, that it is going to be busier, it is going to almost double what we normally do," added Leming.

CASA says they also try to inform the parents of things they can do to help deal with the increased stress.

"Let parents know that there are things out there that they can do. There are some free camps, they can call 211 to get some of those. Look into the lunch programs that some of the parks have so the kids can go and get free breakfast and free lunch to take off some of that burden," added Escobar.

CASA says more volunteers with their group could help ease the strain.

If you are interested in becoming a CASA, visit www.amarillocasa.org or call 373-2272.

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