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Getting Help for Abuse During the Pandemic

By January 28, 2021March 4th, 2021No Comments

It’s been over a year now; WOW… it’s been an entire year! And the stress of this pandemic has continued to grow. The tensions from the stay at home orders, social distancing, isolation, financial hardships, even substance abuse can easily trigger violence in the home. We know that young people stuck at home, are sometimes the target of that abuse.

This pandemic has impacted so many aspects of our lives. One huge change is that many of us haven’t been able to do the activities that we took for granted. This includes such things as school, sports, camps, clubs, hanging out with friends and even family functions. This has left a lot of us confined in troubled homes or lingering without stable places to grow and thrive. Due to this pandemic, the system that was once in place to protect young people from abuse and maltreatment has been compromised.

While many of us have been staying at home to “stay safe” for some young people, staying at home during the pandemic has kept them in the most dangerous place they can be.

Teachers, coaches, and school guidance counselors are some of the people who reporter of suspected abuse most often. Now we may only see those people through a virtual classroom, if we see them at all. Reports of child abuse since the start of this pandemic have gone down (in some states, as much as a 60% decrease of reports). Now, some may think, “that’s great, child abuse is decreasing”. However, experts know this is not the case. It probably just means that child abuse is more hidden and these people that usually see the abuse and help kids – aren’t seeing it or hearing about it as often.

So – TeenCentral wants to help. We want to equip you with some ways to reach out yourself if you or someone you know is being hurt physically, sexually – or if you are being neglected in your home.

Is someone hurting you enough to give you cuts or bruises? Is someone touching you in places that make you feel uncomfortable? Are you in a living situation where you don’t have enough to eat, enough clothing, a safe and warm place to sleep? Are you left alone too much? These are just a few examples but hopefully you can get the idea…

Here are some safe places to turn for help:

  • Your guidance counselors are still there! Reach out to your school- via email or Zoom in order to contact them. At some schools, you can even make an in-person appointment to talk directly with them face to face. Just because we don’t see them every day, doesn’t mean they have disappeared.
  • Check in with your teachers. You may only see them during class or virtually but they are still a resource that can connect you to the help you may need. It’s one of the people you have (some sort of) contact with almost every day.
  • Contact the Child Help USA National Hotline. This is a resource that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 different languages. If you are suffering from child abuse, this hotline can help. Simply call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit them online at childhelpusa.org.
  • Every state in the US has their own reporting system for child abuse as well. With one quick Google search you can find a resource to report what is happening to you. Type into google, “Report Child Abuse {Enter your state here}”.
  • You can also reach out to local County Child Welfare Office. This resource may look different depending on where you live, but you can find your county’s information quickly on Google. You’ll want to search “Child Welfare Resource Information {Enter your county here}”.
  • Keep talking to us! Here at TeenCentral, we continue to be dedicated to hearing your stories and offering the best possible suggestions to help you HELP YOU.
  • Remember- reaching out to anyone (any trusted adult or peer) is better than suffering alone in silence. There are people that want to help you. Your voice matters, we are here to listen.

Please don’t feel like you just have to suffer alone. You don’t.

There are also many hotlines available to you on the TeenCentral HELP tab. Read over them because one of them may apply to your situation perfectly – and they respond immediately to you.

TeenCentral wants to make sure you are completely safe in EVERY WAY during this pandemic. Please reach out.