Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect have fallen dramatically since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the state Department of Children and Families. That worries child advocates in the Berkshires.

They say the pandemic has created obstacles to abuse intervention. The district attorney, meantime, says the public can help by learning to spot signs of abuse and neglect.

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington says reports of child abuse in Berkshire County have declined 52 percent in the past two months compared to this time last year. New investigations have declined 33 percent since the beginning of the year, she said.

"It's not that there's half the amount of abuse going on right now," Harrington said. "In fact, I'm sure that given the stressors of the situation, there's more."

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