For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in social isolation, economic difficulties, and mental health challenges. Although the pandemic has been challenging for most, it has had catastrophic results for some of the children in our local community.
We recently analyzed our data to determine how the pandemic has affected the children who come to our center:
- We had 403 total cases between October 2020 and September 2021.
- 296 of these cases (73%) were not directly related to the pandemic.
- 107 of these cases (27%) were directly related to the pandemic in some way.
It is heartbreaking that 107 children in our community alone were impacted by abuse due at least in part to the pandemic. It is also worth noting that these 107 cases are those that were immediately disclosed, while many children delay disclosing abuse for months or even years, so the real number of cases is likely much higher than the number reported here.
We tracked five impacts that contributed to abuse in these pandemic-related cases:
- New or increased exposure
- Lack of supervision
- Social isolation
- Child/parent mental health concerns
- Economic impact
As a result, many of these children have experienced, or are continuing to experience, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, social isolation, fear of the unknown, and loss of education. Our mission is to reduce the devastating long-term effects that all forms of child abuse have on children, their families and society through immediate, coordinated, child-focused services, education, and advocacy. It is unfortunate that the pandemic has exacerbated trauma for so many children in our community, prolonging their suffering and delaying their healing process.