Experts fear child abuse will increase with coronavirus isolation

NBC News

March 27, 2020

By Sakshi Venkatraman

People trained to recognize abuse, like teachers and child care workers, are not seeing kids who may be confined to abusive households.

School closures and self-isolation have led to a drop in the number of child abuse cases reported to several state hotlines, worrying experts who say rules intended to halt the spread of coronavirus may be making conditions worse for victims of child abuse trapped at home with their parents.

Hotlines in Colorado, Texas and Illinois and California have received fewer reports of child abuse since stay-at-home orders have been put into place, say experts who attribute the decline to children no longer attending school or day care, where teachers and child care workers are mandated to report suspected abuse.

“We are concerned about this significant drop in calls, particularly because children and youth who may be experiencing abuse and neglect are now home all day and isolated,” said Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Office of Children, Youth and Families, in a news release.

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