Brace yourselves. Some grim numbers about child sexual abuse have surfaced recently that remind us of how hard it is to stop predators.
—During this pandemic, what was feared has now been proven: Child sexual abuse is on the rise in recent weeks.
A national abuse hotline reports “a 22% increase in calls from people younger than 18,” according to National Public Radio. The network also reports:
“Statistically speaking, home is not the safest place for every young person. About 34% of child sexual abusers are family members. Closing schools and canceling youth activities like sports removes children from the watchful eyes of “mandatory reporters” — those trusted adults, like teachers, nurses and child care providers, who are required by law in most states to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect.”
—Another tragic new trend: An NBC News report is headlined “Child sexual abuse images and online exploitation surge during COVID-19 pandemic.”
It notes that “with tech companies’ moderation efforts constrained by the pandemic, distributors of child sexual exploitation material are growing bolder, using major platforms to try to draw audiences.”
—And a third bit of troubling news: A Guardian headline reads that “Lockdown hampering removal of child sexual abuse material online.”
The number of web pages featuring abuse being removed “has plummeted 89% during pandemic,” the newspaper reports, because “tech companies and law enforcement agencies were operating with reduced numbers of staff and did not have the capacity to take down the material.”
We at Horowitz Law wish there were a quick and simple remedy to both the horror of child sexual abuse AND the horror of Covid-19. But we’re reminded of this bit of wisdom uttered by President Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
(Thanks to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which runs the national abuse hotline.)