*All individuals included in the video are actors, not clients of Dawson Place or actual child abuse victims*
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, children remain stuck at home. For some children, home isn’t the same safe place it is for others.
Reports of child abuse have gone down, and yet we know it continues. It is proven that stress often increases abusive and neglectful situations. The National Children’s Alliance refers to our current situation as the “perfect storm.” Stress factors such as financial and food insecurity, poor mental health, and a lack of job security are heightened due to the pandemic, and increase the stress levels of parents and caretakers across Snohomish County. When we also factor in the feeling of isolation and heightened anxiety, we find children are at their most vulnerable to experience abuse from parents.
For nearly a year now, children have been stuck at home more than ever with nowhere to turn for help when a caretaker’s stress turns for the worst. Safe places like school, after school activities, friend’s houses, and public areas are no longer accessible to victims. This is leaving children isolated in their homes, which for many means quarantining with their abusers.
It also means they no longer see “safe adults” at school or in after school activities where they can find help, who most commonly report the signs of abuse. These same trusted adults don’t have a chance to recognize the signs they are trained to see. In school, victims have a chance to confide in their teachers privately; online there are few chances, if any.
It is up to all of us now, more than ever, to recognize the signs of abuse and get victims the help they need. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, don’t wait. Dawson Place is here to provide victims and their families safety, justice, and healing.
You can help make every child’s home, safe and happy.