Over the course of the last year, our experience tells us an astoundingly high number of children have been physically and sexually abused. But we have not seen them or heard their voices. My colleagues in the world of social services and I are aware that COVID-19 unleashed economic turmoil and disconnection from support systems in families across the country. Such conditions can stimulate violence in families where it did not exist before and worsen where it was already present. Factor in that on average it takes a child 2 1/2 years to disclose their abuse, and the impacts from the pandemic on our children will be severe and long-lasting.
What continues to worry those of us who advocate for children is the limited in-person connections we have had with children since March 2020. We know thousands of children have been confined in households with intensified issues of domestic violence, parental mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, all factors for increased risks to children.
View a copy of this SanAntonioReport.org article published April 20, 2021: