Across the country, cities report a significant decrease in child abuse cases. Usually, residents would deem this as a call for celebration, but child-abuse specialists express severe concerns over the rapidly dropping rates for these claims.
According to the Wall Street Journal, rates began to drop around mid-March as the current climate shifted. As schools began to close doors and send kids home, experts knew rates would drop since most reports come from teachers, day-care workers and others who work with children daily.
Why fewer reports don’t lead to less abuse
Most states weren’t expecting the drastic change that would follow. Texas logged a 30% decrease in reports, and California reported 45% fewer cases of child abuse. And these only two examples of the pattern in the United States.
Many doctors express concerns that they haven’t seen a bulk of children’s injuries during the last few months as the current crisis created the perfect environment for sexual abuse. This offense is often perpetrated by a relative or family member.
Some leaders suggest the tensions may only get worse as many parents commit child abuse while experiencing severe financial restraints or hardships. Previous research found a significant correlation between infant head-trauma abuse cases and a nationwide rise in unemployment in 2008.
Despite the fall in reports, it makes it more crucial than ever to know the signs of child abuse, including:
- Frequent injuries like bruises, cuts or burns
- Frequent complaints surrounding pain without any apparent injuries
- Burns and bruises occur in strange patterns.
- Lack of reaction to pain
- Aggressive or destructive behavior
- Passive or emotionless behavior
- Fearing of going home or seeing parents
- Unreasonable clothing for the weather (mostly to cover injuries)
Even with proper recognition, experts do not expect the reports turn increase until schools and safe spaces begin to reopen this summer or fall.