Concerns about child abuse have soared since national lockdown measures were first introduced.
Since the beginning of the first lockdown, the average number of contacts made to our helpline about abuse has gone up. Analysis of our data from April to November shows that the level of concern about emotional abuse, neglect, and physical abuse remain well above the pre-pandemic average. The latest figures show that the number of contacts from people concerned about child abuse is 43% higher than before the first lockdown. 1
Since April, we have received:
- 31,359 contacts from adults anxious about child abuse or neglect 2
- an 82% rise in the number of contacts made about children experiencing emotional abuse, compared to pre-lockdown levels 3
- over a third more contacts from adults worried about children experiencing neglect and physical abuse, the two most common forms of abuse mentioned.
As a result, we referred half (50%) of the contacts from concerned adults to external agencies like the police and social services to take further action.
"At Childline we know how important it is that we are here for children over the Christmas period. We are there for young people when they need the service the most and for many - Christmas will be that time. The pandemic has had a huge impact on young people and for the many who will have nowhere else to turn, we will provide a vital listening ear."
Pauline / Volunteer counsellor at Childline
Now, with Christmas almost here, we are sharing these findings as a warning that Christmas can be a very difficult time for children suffering abuse and neglect, and the impact of the Coronavirus could put even more children at risk.