Child abuse cases spike during pandemic according to new research

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Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 10:07 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - There are many side effects of the pandemic. Researchers at a local university say there’s a disturbing trend associated with all the COVID restrictions -- and it puts children in harm’s way.

The numbers are trending up for child abuse, according to the results of a survey conducted by researchers at the University of Toledo.

Head researcher Elissar Andari says our current way of life is the main reason for the spike.

“Tired of taking care of children and also working from home, I think these can be leading factors. Homeschooling and figuring out your job, those who didn’t lose their job. And then you have those who lost their jobs, as you know there are a lot of stressors like that,” Andari said.

Andari says before the pandemic, child abuse cases stood at somewhere between 30% to 40%, but now it’s exponentially higher.

One of the main problems is access to mental and physical healthcare is limited.

”Already the numbers were high in my opinion, but now when we did the survey I have like 77% of people reporting more instances of verbal aggression as well as 66% reporting physical punishment,” says Andari.

Andari says children under five are the most common victims, and she’s hoping parents who feel stressed will seek support before striking out. She also encourages anyone who suspects child abuse to report it.

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