How COVID-19 May Increase Domestic Violence and Child Abuse [Webpage].
American Psychological Association.
Briefing Materials Webpage
Published: April 08, 2020
This webpage explains how the COVID-19 pandemic can exacerbate domestic violence and increase the risk of child abuse. It cites research that shows increased stress levels among parents is often a major predictor of physical abuse and neglect of children. The lack of resources that many at-risk parents rely on is noted as another risk factor, as well as the strain on many child protective organizations that may prevent home visits in areas with stay-at-home orders, the financial strain many Americans are experiencing due to business and other closures, and the stress of children over the pandemic that may lead to stressed parents that respond to their children’s anxious behaviors or demands in aggressive or abusive ways. It is recommended parents prioritize self-care and take a break from parenting duties whenever possible to lessen the risk of lashing out at a child. Emergency domestic violence and child abuse resources that are being developed in response to the expected risk in cases are highlighted.
COVID-19; child abuse; child neglect; family violence; risk; PARENTAL STRESS; RISK FACTORS; CHILDREN AT RISK; INVESTIGATIONS; DISASTER RESPONSE