Memorial for abused children in Cullman

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — There’s a hidden epidemic of abuse and neglect in Alabama. It crosses every social, economic and ethnic line.

We’ll never know what the 32 children who died could have done. Wednesday, a crowd gathered to look at 32 little chairs.

Each displayed on the courthouse steps representing an abused and neglected child who died in Alabama last year.

“It’s just hard to fathom,” said Misty Pew.

Pew, a foster mom, says the 2-year-old boy she is caring for was exposed to drugs and mentally abused, but he survived thanks to someone who alerted authorities.

Amanda Buchanan with DHR says no concern is too small. She says the display is meant to open people’s eyes to what’s happening to children around you.

“It may be you see the child has an unexplained bruise or mark,” Buchanan said. “It may be that they’re not going to school as they should.”

Right now, about 6,000 children are in foster care in Alabama.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, contact your local DHR office.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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