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Clermont Co. official thinks child abuse going unreported during pandemic

Hamilton County commissioners put child services levy renewal on ballot
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 12:57:22-04

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Since the pandemic started and schools shut their doors to students, officials in Clermont County said on paper they have seen a drop in child abuse cases, but they fear that just means cases are going unreported.

"If you're a child and being abused, who are you going to tell?" Scott O'Reilly, Clermont County's assistant prosecutor, said. "The abuser in the house?"

O'Reilly said abuse cases are down nearly 50%. However, he thinks just because the case numbers are down means they aren't being reported.

"Normally, when you've got pediatricians, you've got teachers, you've got kind of that front line of defense of child abuse is recognizing it," O'Reilly said. "What do you do when there's not that front line?”

While O'Reilly said people won't see the true effects of child abuse until years down the road, he said that's why he has worked to build the Little Fork Family Advocacy Center, so that he and others can help victims of child abuse now.

"My goal is to get some positive change for these kids, for these families, when... something like this goes through it so we're not repeating the cycle," O'Reilly said.

You can donate to help construct the Little Fork Family Advocacy Center by visiting their website here.