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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Child abuse reports are way down since the pandemic started, but that probably doesn’t mean fewer kids in danger.

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana says calls to the state’s child abuse hotline are down 40%. But

program director Sandy Runkle says there’s probably not less abuse — with schools and afterschool

programs shut down, kids just aren’t in contact with the people who normally are in the best position to spot signs of abuse.

If anything, Runkle says the stress of pandemic restrictions can make abuse more likely. She says

neighbors and churches should check in with families before the pressure builds too high.

And Runkle says Prevent Child Abuse has been urging businesses to be more watchful — stores,

pharmacies, even food delivery drivers. The organization has also suggested stores put informational fliers at the checkout so people can inform themselves about what to look for.