A recent news article described the concern of child abuse advocates since the rate of child abuse reports has dropped about 50% in the last few weeks.
The article noted that advocates don’t believe incidents of child abuse have gone down, but rather, those who are typically reporting abuse (school teachers and counselors) do not have access to children. As a former child abuse prosecutor, I was worried about this issue before the article came out, but the article confirmed my concerns. I was worried about those most vulnerable trapped inside homes with their abusers, with no way out and no one to turn to.
As is true regarding our responsibility to socially distance ourselves from each other for the greater good, it is also our responsibility to keep our ears and eyes open for our neighbors and our children—to listen for signs of abuse that we may want to shun, to turn away from what we don’t want to admit may be happening next door. Without schools to turn to, these children are relying on others, often strangers, to keep them safe. If you are concerned, make a call. Help a child who can’t help themselves.