Increase In Abuse Reports During Holiday Season

Credit: WAAY ABC Huntsville, AL
Published on December 6, 2019 -

Increase In Abuse Reports During Holiday Season

The National Children's Advocacy Center wants parents to keep an especially close eye on their children this holiday season.


Increase In Abuse Reports During Holiday Season

Sheriffs office.

New at 5... the "national children's advocacy center" wants parents to keep an especially close eye on their children this holiday season.

The group says children are in greater danger because they're out of school.

Waay 31's sydney martin talked to a trauma therapist after learning the center has seen more than double their average case load after the thanksgiving break.

Erica hochberger, trauma therapist, "there's the stress of my house has to be perfect and money and groceries and cooking and all of this stuff.

I think all together it can make it harder to supervise which means if someone is around your child with intent to harm them they have more opportunity."

Erica hochberger is a trauma therapist and said she knows first hand as a parent the holidays can be stressful.

"we noticed we see more child abuse cases after vacations like that."

Hochberger said therapists at the national children's advocacy center for madison county?

Have already worked on nine cases this week -- which is more than double their normal case load.

She encourages every parent to have a conversation with their child to empower them to not feel forced into any situation when it comes to interacting with relatives or other adults aduring the holidays.

"if you don't know them as well or not it's okay to say hi and talk to them.

You don't have to climb up in their lap.

You don't have to hug them."

And she advises any parent who has a child come forward about being abused to stay calm, trust their child and contact authorities... "you're going to be shocked and it's going to be hard to believe it because it's probably going to be somebody that you trust and so no matter how much you know and how prepared you are i don't know if it's possible to be perfect just in that moment."

Syd, "hochberger told me if there are any parents who have been approached by their child recently or even a long time ago about being abused- it's not too late to call authorities and she encourages them to do so.

In huntsville sm waay 31 news."

The advocacy center offers child abuse training courses for parents and anyone who works around kids - to teach them warning signs and how to react properly to situations.

We're working to put information about those classes on

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