SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Intermountain Healthcare is honoring 1,800 children who have lost their lives due to abuse in 2019 across the nation with pinwheels planted outside Primary Children’s Hospital.
Over that same time period, statewide, officials say there have been more than 40,000 reports of child abuse or neglect and 4.4 million nationwide.
Officials say, due to the pandemic, children were out of school and some may not have had access to usual support groups to get the help they need.
Experts explain that, although the number of child abuse cases have been stable during the pandemic, the number of domestic violence cases is on the rise, which officials say could lead to child abuse.
“Children that are in those environments are at both physical and psychological risk. The reason of physical risk is that they are the so-called crossfire victim. It is not unusual that children are harmed when two adults are having physical combat when they are trying to help a parent or they are being held by a parent when something is happening,” says Dr. Antoinette Laskey University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.
Utah is a mandatory reporter state and doctors say there are some important reminders for people.
“Making the call doesn’t mean you are saying for sure abuse is happening or for sure, quote on quote, the parents are bad, it means you are getting a child help. What does this family need, what does this child need,” Dr. Laskey explains.
There are pinwheels folks can purchase for a virtual garden. Money will go to those impacted by child abuse and neglect.