During this pandemic, reports of possible child abuse are down and reports of domestic violence are up. Both trends are troubling. You can help make a difference here.
About 70% of all suspected child abuse reports come from teachers, counselors and doctors. As fewer kids see these professionals, fewer reports get made.
Is more child abuse happening now, as families are cooped up together? No one knows. But fewer reports are being called in to state child protection agencies.
That means that some children who would benefit from the intervention of child safety workers aren’t getting attention these days because of the Covid-19 crisis.
But it’s different with domestic violence, advocates say. Partner and spousal abuse IS happening more often now, they believe.
According to NBC News, “as lawmakers across the country order lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus, the lives of people stuck in physically or emotionally abusive relationships have — and will — become harder, which has already been seen in the pandemic hotspots of China and Italy.”
An abuse hotline director says she expects “the intensity and frequency of abuse escalate, a pattern that experts witnessed during the economic downturn of 2008 and immediately after 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.”
How can you help?
— Call someone you know today who may be in a situation like this. When victims feel ignored or isolated, their pain is compounded. So take just a few minutes to pick up the phone and connect.
— Share on social media the contact info for helpful groups at the bottom of this blog.
— Donate to organizations that fight against these two scourges. Sure, lots of groups and even for-profit businesses need help these days. But those suffering violence or at risk of suffering violence should never be far from our thoughts and near ‘the front of the line’ for our help.
Resources for victims and survivors:
Anti-Violence Project offers a 24-hour English/Spanish hotline for L.G.B.T.Q.+ experiencing abuse or hate-based violence: call 212-714-1141
For those who seeking help from domestic violence, signs of common abuse types, tips on emergency planning, tech safety, and a list support programs for housing, immigration, and financial independence can be found at https://www.safety.com/family-safety/how-to-find-help-from-domestic-violence/
Comprehensive guide that highlights the increased vulnerability for victims and how to support these populations during unprecedented times. Domestic Violence During the Pandemic: Resources for Victims and Survivors https://www.mymove.com/moving/guides/domestic-violence-resources/
RAINN, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network 800.656.HOPE (4673). When you call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available in multiple languages: call 1-800-942-6906 for English. For deaf or hard of hearing: 711
For immediate dangers, call 911.