How teachers can prevent child abuse
Some children are suffering from more abuse recently with all the pandemic precautions, stay at home orders, and quarantining. That is certainly one of the more unfortunate side-effects of COVID-19. It’s abominable that it happens any time, but it’s especially bad when schools are closed and a trusted teacher isn’t there to confide in.
But there may be an answer
I was reading our US Representative’s newsletter the other day, and discovered that he has introduced a bipartisan bill to Congress intended on providing additional support to children during these times when they aren’t in school or close to non-family members who they feel comfortable in confiding in.
Read Anthony Gonzalez’s (R-OH-16) planned bill introduction:
Addressing rising concerns of child abuse due to COVID-19
This week I urged the U.S. Department of Education to issue additional guidance to help school systems keep children safe from abuse at a time when in-person school and team activities have been halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. School teachers, coaches and other mandated reporters are often the first line of defense for children who experience abuse at home. Without these protectors, many children in our community are being left to suffer. State and federal child abuse reporting networks have seen a troubling decline in reporting since school closures and shelter-in-place restrictions were put into place across the country, raising concerns that these measures are having dangerous unintended consequences on our nation’s children. While it is important that we protect our communities from the spread of this virus, it is also critical that we do everything we can to enact additional safeguards to identify children in need of help and give them the guidance they need to seek that help. Learn more about my work to keep our children safe here.
My concern is that it may be too little too late. School is wrapping up as I write this post, and many have closed already, even virtually. Without some ongoing education programs this summer, I don’t see how the affected children are going to have that opportunity to reach out if they need to.
My hope is that there will be a coordination with the National Crisis Textline, since that’s how many children are most comfortable connecting. (See this previous article to learn about the texting hotline.)
Hopefully that will all become apparent in the near future if I can get an answer from Rep. Gonzalez’s office. Stay tuned.
What can you do?
In the meantime, parents can talk with their own children to see if any of their friends have confided in them that things aren’t going well at home. If it sounds like a problem, don’t wait, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) and let the professionals take it from there. Just tell them what you’ve heard, and they’ll create a plan.
More articles about Human Trafficking and Sexual Abuse:
The worst thing your child won’t tell you
What to tell your child before it’s too late
Can you believe human zoos existed in this country
Learn the dangerous language of human traffickers before your child does
Learning the facts about sexual violence — these stats are incredible
Want to get involved with ending human trafficking?
Saint Bakhita — patron saint of trafficking victims
Look beneath the surface — would you recognize someone being trafficked?
Make a friend — save someone from becoming a trafficking victim
Stock photo courtesy of Icon8.com
Originally published at Stop Human Trafficking Website.