Child abuse reports drastically drop in Kansas

By Fabian Rosales

“A year ago we all basically saw that there would probably be a downturn in case filings”- Paul Klepper, District Court Judge.

In the past year, there’s been a drastic decrease in reported child abuse cases in the United States and Kansas saw a 26% decrease. 

“It’s not that there’s less child abuse and neglect, in fact, there’s probably, almost certainly more,” said Douglas County District Court Judge Paul Klepper. “We just know less about it.”

COVID-19 has caused people to work and learn from home. With children learning from home, they’re less around adults who would notice any signs of abuse.

“When you don’t have kids psychically in school, they’re not around mandated reporters,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Katy Britton. “A lot of the ways DCF [Department for Children and Families] gets told about potential abuse neglect issues is from teachers and therapists and counselors at school.”

According to Harvard Law Today, the stress that the pandemic has put on the parents: employment, housing and ability to feed their kids put children at a higher risk of abuse. 

“I think we will collectively feel this for years to come unfortunately,” said Britton.