In many cases, those who see the signs and report child abuse are daycare providers, teachers and doctors. These are people who have close contact with children but who are not actually connected to an individual child’s family. They may see signs like physical injuries, emotional changes and much more. Children may even come to them to confide in them when they feel there is nowhere else to turn.
What is concerning is that, with people spending more time inside and staying with their families, some experts are worried that child abuse may fly under the radar. Children who do not see teachers and other adults may have no one to see the signs or speak up for them. That doesn’t mean that child abuse has stopped. It just means the same reports are not getting made.
On top of that, children may have to spend an extended amount of time with parents who are under a lot of stress. Is that a situation where child abuse becomes more likely? Could the fact that the parent thinks they’re less likely to be caught make it even more likely?
Some have asked for others to report on abuse when possible, such as workers at local grocery stores or neighbors who may see the signs. While this can help, it is unlikely that it will catch all of the cases.
Children deserve protection from abuse, as do adults who may be victimized by domestic violence. This type of thing is all too common and current events may make it even more common — and harder to detect. It is important for those involved to know what legal options they have.