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Signs to look for if you suspect child abuse

The Seneca Falls police chief is weighing in Thursday on how important it is to notify authorities if you suspect abuse.

"It's obviously extremely vital in this case, it could have saved a little boy's life," Chief Stuart Peenstra said.

Maureen Foran-Mocete, who works at the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center, says people are hesitant to call because they fear they may be ruining someone's reputation, disturbing a family, or that the abuse may not actually be happening.

However, if they are in trouble, children may need help from the outside.

"I think if we have a gut feeling, we have a legitimate concern that something is happening, it's upon us to make those phone calls especially with child abuse," Foran-Mocete said.

Signs may be obvious, such as bruising or red marks, but other times it's about trusting instincts or noticing subtle changes.

"With people that see the child every day whether it's daycare or in school where they notice changes in the behavior of the child, a child that used to be very outgoing is not outgoing anymore, or vice versa," Foran-Mocete said.

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