The Unfortunate Reality of Child Abuse in the Midst of A Pandemic


Child abuse is a pressing issue that has become even more of a concern since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Sasha Legagneur, Editor-in-Chief

On average , about 3 million instances of child abuse are reported anually in the United States of America. It is a pressing issue which can cause both physical and emotional scars on its victims. Child abuse is a broad concept consisting of subcategories such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse,and neglect. Often, victims of child abuse are neglected by their parents or guardians.While the house may be a shelter for the child to live in, it is definitely not a home. It is a place in which the victim may feel that the four walls are entrapping them ; a place where there is no way out and any attempt to reach the outside world may result in traumatic consequences. As a result, any opportunity to leave the house, such as going to school or a place with people who can offer help, is vital for a child who suffers from abuse. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this line of help has been restricted for victims. With lockdowns, stay at home orders, and the closure of many institutions, child abuse cases have the opportunity to increase. 

With stay at home orders rising across the nation, millions of Americans have filed for unemployment over the past couple of months. As a result of this urgent situation, both a financial and mental health crisis has swept the nation, with countless numbers of Americans feeling it’s brush.Feelings of anxiety and depression have increased in many civilians, causing them to act dangerously. Many people have turned to alcohol and drugs as an outlet for their feelings. Because of this altered, unnatural state, there is a high chance that parents will lose themselves in this sea of substances and plunge their children along with them. The effects of these substances can cause users to act in a manner they would have never engaged in before or deepen a problem that already existed. A large sum of individuals who report abuse have perpetrators who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. According to, a study found that minors with parents who participate in substance abuse are three times more likely to suffer from abuse in comparison to children whose parents do not abuse alcohol or drugs. 

Furthermore, the fact that abused children now have to spend more time with their perpetrators is reason to believe instances of child abuse are prominent during this season. Due to both adults and children not being able to leave the house for the extent of time they previously did, they are together for a majority of the day. Previously, the child would probably be at school while the parent was at work. If a child participated in an extracurricular activity, this would allow for even more space between the perpetrator and the victim. However, this is not the case anymore.Abusers now have more time to act violently towards the children they are supposed to care for. 

Texas had over 11,000 reported case of child abuse in the first week of March. During this time, in-person learning was still running. Three weeks later when schools closed their doors, this number decreased about 50%, according to first, this statistic may seem good. However, the truth behind these numbers is not so positive. Many children who suffer from child abuse turn to their teachers for help. Now that schools are closed, these kids no longer have this opportunity. Those who choose to reach out to other sources, such as a social worker or the family of a close friend , may have difficulty doing so. Abusers may track the child’s phone and the victim may get in trouble if they are heard making a call for help. Because of this, fewer reports of abuse have been made. To believe that the rate of abuse has decreased is simply incorrect. In reality, the platforms these childrens have to report a case have been largely cut off. Hospitals are seeing victims with more severe injuries than before and the  number of physical abuse cases have risen.

Although in person contact is limited, there are still some ways a victim can reach out if they have a chance to. Teachers, religious leaders, and social workers will be more than willing to video chat through applications such as Zoom.Victims can try and step out of the house, enter a quiet room, or call when they are alone. 

“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun: not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul”-Dave Pelzer, author of A Child Called “It”. If you see something , please say something. You may be saving a child’s life by pressing a few buttons. If you suspect abuse or are a victim of abuse yourself, call or text the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. This hotline is available 24/7. For more information on this emergency or the phone numbers of state run departments, please visit


Woodall, Katie. As Hospitals see more severe child abuse injuries during coronavirus, ‘the worst is yet to come’. May 13, 2020. Accessed: June 16,2020.


Streicher, Brad. Texas child abuse reports are down amid stay-at-home orders, but the threat is still there. April 7, 2020. Accessed: June 20,2020.


American Society for the Positive Care of Children. Child Maltreatment Statistics in the U.S. 2020. Accessed: June 28, 2020.