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Area Law Enforcement See Rise in Abuse Cases

Sad, bullied or abused boy crying sitting on stairs

While a full shelter-in-place order has still not been put into effect across Iowa, there is a considerable area of concern from local law enforcement while children are out of school and many people are quarantined at home.

Detective Sgt. Brad Kunkel with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was pleased to report to KCRG that overall, crime is down. Fewer people are on the road, allowing for OWI numbers to drop, and service calls are down by 17 percent.

Two areas of concern for agencies, according to Kunkel, are domestic violence and child abuse. In March 2019 in Johnson County, there were eight total domestic violence calls. Last month, there were 13.

On the other hand, March started with 342 child abuse calls from educators, according to the Department of Human Services. In the final week of March, there were 5. A significant drop, but still a concern.

Human Services and the Iowa Department of Education are working together on “comfort calls”  to check on Iowa school students, and are encouraging the public that if they “see something, say something”.

Kunkel worries a lot of victims might not make the call immediately. He says if you feel you or someone you know is in imminent danger, call 911, or the abuse hotline anytime, at 1-800-362-2178.

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