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Abuse cases on rise during shutdown
Kemp Addresses Media
Gov. Brian Kemp addresses reporters Wednesday afternoon, April 1, 2020, at Liberty Plaza near the state Capitol in Atlanta. - photo by Special to The Covington News

Hospitals aren’t just dealing with a rise in cases related to the growing COVID-19 crisis. They’re also seeing more people who are victims of abuse.

That’s according to Gov. Brian Kemp, who said there are ripple effects to the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted nearly every aspect of life across the state and world.

“As we continue to fight this virus, our office is receiving reports that are concerning and deserve the public’s immediate attention,” Kemp said Wednesday in a news conference outside the state Capitol.

“We have been told by one Atlanta-area hospital that they are seeing a 15% increase in domestic violence cases in their facility. This is disturbing and cannot be tolerated.”

Kemp urged people who are victims of domestic violence, or who know victims, to call the state’s hotline at 800-334-2836.

However, with schools being closed since mid-March — and Kemp later announced campuses won’t be reopening until the fall — the state actually has taken fewer reports of abuse.

“Teachers and administrators are often the first ones to see the signs of abuse, and with schools closed, we must remain vigilant about this problem and work to remedy it,” he said.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services may be reached at 855-GACHILD (855-422-4453).