As we shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic, home isn’t safe for everyone, particularly children in abusive situations.
Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) said that the majority (just over half) of RAINN’s sexual abuse hotline users in March were minors. Of those minors, 67% identified their perpetrator as a family member, of which 79% were living in the same house. (RAINN helps an average of 25,000 people a month.) While parents and other adults in the home can be the prime perpetrators, older children and cousins can also be abusers. Over a third of a child sexual abuse cases is committed by another minor.
The increase is a result of children not being able to access the safety net of other adults, i.e. teachers, coaches, counselors, faith leaders. They no longer have contact with people who can help. Abused kids are literally stuck at home with their abuser.
During these times, advocates and caseworkers are faced with the problem of not being able to easily contact children in need. In-home visits and in-person interviews with the child and others involved are significantly reduced. It is on the public to reach out to kids—pick up the phone or FaceTime. Be in touch so that you can get a sense of how they’re doing.
For more information please call the advocates at LCRC. They are available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. They are here to help. Crisis Hotline 1-877-754-9683 or 218-847-7446.