Child Abuse Rates Rise During Summer Vacation - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Child Abuse Rates Rise During Summer Vacation

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Child safety advocates says child abuse and neglect rises in the summer months with hotter temperatures and more time at home.

"On average we serve 65 children every month," says Jessica Miller, Executive Director of the Gingerbread House. "Those are our new cases of abuse coming through our doors for our forensics interview program. So on the low months, we may see around 50 or so. On the high months, we may see 75-80."

While sexual abuse is often a growing process- progressing with time- physical abuse can happen and escalate with little to no warning signs.

Miller says that physical abuse crosses genders, races, and economic levels, but one particularly vulnerable age is the preschool level. Potty training is stressful, children cannot defend themselves like a teenager might, and they cannot speak up for themselves.

Even with age, however, studies show only one of every ten juvenile victims will report their abuse, so Miller says adults must say something when they suspect violence against the child.

Signs of abuse range from physical to behavioral.

Be aware of bruising and injuries in unlikely places. Parents and caregivers may fully clothe a child's arms and legs to hide physical abuse, even in extreme heat.

Abused children may suddenly change their behavior, refusing to go certain places or spend time with certain people. Look out regressive behaviors like a return to bed-wetting or thumb sucking.

If you suspect a child has been physically, sexually or emotionally abused, Gingerbread House has compiled the list of resources found below:


Caddo Parish Child Protection Hotline: (318) 676-7622

Bossier Parish Child Protection Hotline: (318) 741-7340


Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department: (318) 675-2170

Bossier Parish Sheriff's Department: (318) 965-2203


Shreveport Police Department: (318) 673-7300

Bossier City Police Department: (318) 741-8611


Caddo OCS (child protective services): (318) 676-7622

Bossier OCS (child protective services): (318) 741-7340


Helpline: 1-800-348-KIDS

Gingerbread House: (318) 674-2900

Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana: (318) 425-8060

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