‘More victims of child abuse during lockdown’

The number of victims of child abuse was significantly higher during last years first lockdown compared to other periods when schools and childcare were open. According to Leiden researchers, victims were mainly confronted with emotional neglect and witnessed domestic violence.

It is

estimated that almost 40,000 children, or 14 per 1000 children, experienced abuse during the first lockdown that began in mid-March. For comparison, the same three-month period in 2017 involved almost 15,000 children. โ€œThe results show that closing schools and childcare can have far-reaching implications for vulnerable families,โ€ said Leiden University.

The researchers also note that a low level of education entails a more than 10 times higher risk of child abuse. In unemployed families, the risk is more than 3 times higher compared to non-unemployed families.

The family size appeared to be a risk factor only for families with 4 or more children, the risk of ill-treatment in these families was more than 2 times greater than in smaller families. The risk of abuse was no different for boys and girls, and for children of different ages.