How is COVID-19 Increasing Child Abuse Claims?

May 14, 2020

Staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic may require that you stay home, and in some cases, work from home. Victims of child abuse often had a short reprieve when they went to school, and may have received assistance from social workers, school counselors, teachers, and administrators. COVID-19 has taken this safety net away.

Victims must remain in their homes, abide by the rules set by their abusers, and often submit to the abuse because they have nowhere to go during this time. Abusers know that their victims are often powerless to leave the house due to the threat of an undetectable virus.

Children Lost Their Support During the Pandemic

Children that had support from school do not have that now. These children may not be allowed to talk to friends, teachers, or counselors. For this reason, children can be completely isolated and experience abuse every day. Abuse victims who might have gone to the hospital do not feel safe because of the pandemic.

For example, abuse victims who might have been able to receive protection at the hospital may be too scared of getting sick if they seek medical attention. That person will be stuck with their abuser, and at the same time, parents cannot protect their children or seek out medical care they need.

Some children simply think their parents are uncool, do not like the rules of the house, cannot see their friends, and might even call a hotline, even though no abuse has taken place.

Parents Are Encouraged to Look, Listen, and Love

Pediatrician, Nina Agrawal, recently released the “3 L’s” initiative to help parents and adults work with the children in their communities. Adults are encouraged to look, listen, and love when children are anxious or depressed, voicing their concerns, or acting out. Adults may have a difficult time dealing with a child’s behavior because everyone is stuck in the house together. Adults can also support each other by sharing their action plan with their peers.

How Should DCPP/DYFS Letters or Visits be Handled?

The look, listen, and love initiative helps everyone work together to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, parents may receive formal letters or be visited by the DCPP/DYFS. When this is the case, parents need a strong advocate who can support them during this process.

The pandemic has caused strain in every household, but parents who are stressed are not necessarily abusing or neglecting their children. Neighbors may misunderstand what they have heard or seen, and angry neighbors or community members could weaponize the DCPP/DYFS against families they dislike. Young children may make accusations of child neglect, even though abuse did not occur, and parents may have a difficult time arranging for child care because they cannot work from home.

New Jersey DCPP/DYFS Lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Help Those Accused of Child Abuse

If you are facing charges of child abuse or neglect, contact one of our New Jersey DCPP/DYFS lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker for help with your case. Call us at 856-795-9400 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Voorhees.

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