While most of the country has been focused on flattening the curve on COVID-19 cases and deaths, many children are having to worry about something entirely different – sexual abuse in their own homes. As most of the country has been under some sort of “stay at home” order due to the coronavirus, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) says they have seen a rise in the number of minors contacting the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
Approximately one out of every 10 children will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. Statistics show that one out of every seven girls and one in every 25 boys will be sexually abused. Unfortunately, this abuse is often carried out by someone the child knows.
According to statistics provided by RAINN, 93% of victims of child sexual abuse know their abusers. Data shows that:
That last data point perhaps explains why there was a 22% increase of monthly calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline from people under the age of 18 by the end of March. Half of all incoming calls were from minors, who now find they are under orders to stay at home with their abusers.
According to RAINN, 67% of those who called said the perpetrators of the abuse was a family member and 79% said they were currently living with the perpetrator of the abuse. Sometimes the abuser is a close relative. Other times the abusers are close family friends. RAINN says that they were able to assist the minor in contacting the police immediately in about 20% of those cases.
“As a result of looking at the information that we had from those sessions, it was clear that the abuse was escalating in both frequency and severity,” said Camille Cooper, RAINN’s vice president of public policy. She went on to say that “it was a direct result of COVID-19, because they were quarantined with their abuser. The abuser was now abusing them on a daily basis.”
This type of abuse is abhorrent, and it seems that abusers now have more opportunities to take advantage of the children under their care.
If you discover that a child has been sexually abused, contact police and child services. Law enforcement and social services are still working, and they take these matters seriously. The safety of a child who is being abused must take precedence over any quarantine or stay at home order.
After contacting the authorities, you may need to seek legal assistance to help ensure their abuser is held accountable. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our skilled team has vast experience handling these cases, and we have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. When you need a New York child sexual abuse attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.