WASHINGTON, (WDVM) — April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that is used to raise awareness and promote the prevention of abuse.
With many schools closed down mandated reporters are not able to be the eyes and ears for children, which can make it difficult to spot abuse.
However, advocates say although there is minimal in-person contact, abuse and neglect can still be spotted virtually.
Advocates say it is crucial teachers and other online facilitators pay attention to what’s going in the child’s background to ensure their safety.
People are advised to look out for certain noises in the background, such as arguments, or yelling, and observe how the child appears.
“Some parents are leaving children at home who is underage, so it’s important for teachers to try and see what’s happening through the screen, neglect is something we can typically see on screen, especially in younger children. If you suspect something you definitely want to make report it, to ensure children are safe,” said Executive Director of the Blue Ribbon Project Taylor Pyles.
In Maryland, there are criminal penalties for Mandated Reporters who knowingly fail to report child abuse. Criminal penalties can include up to a 3-year sentence.