murphy 03032020HAO0719DES PLAINES – To help keep children safe from abuse and neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) encourages Illinoisans to become familiar with the warning signs of abuse and explore the resources available to protect children living in potentially violent households.

“School closures mean kids are spending much more time at home. For kids in abusive households, that spells danger,” said Murphy. “Even as we maintain social distancing, it’s important that we continue to look out for the children in our communities.”

Signs of child mistreatment include unexplained injuries and poor hygiene, according to the Mayo Clinic. Children suffering from abuse may also exhibit withdrawal from friends, changes in school performance, rebellious or aggressive behavior, and depression or anxiety.

Anyone who suspects a child is being abused or neglected can call the Child Abuse Hotline 24/7 at 800-25-ABUSE (22873) to report the situation. All calls are confidential. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services offers guidance, programs and volunteer opportunities to enable Illinoisans to reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect in their neighborhoods. For more information or to take advantage of these resources, visit their website.

“Right now, many people are focused on preventing the spread of coronavirus, but we can’t let our children fall by the wayside,” said Murphy. “If you see a child in need of support, I urge you to speak up.”