Child abuse in the age of a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Act 2020 and prevention of abuse

Amongst the less-known effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the impact on child protection.  Risk factors include the lockdown itself, which forces families to cohabit on a permanent basis, as well as overcrowding, loss of income and high levels of stress and anxiety.  These increase the risk of abusive behaviour against children by adults, or other children, living in the same household. Protective factors, such as contact with supportive adults outside of the house, or contact with friends is also reduced.  There is also concern about increased exposure to online harm, including grooming, creation and dissemination of child sexual abuse videos or other content.

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