Giving Compass' Take:

· Due to the pandemic's impact on school closures, advocates worry about a spike in child abuse due to fewer eyes being on the children. 

· Why do advocates specifically worry for people of color?

· Read and learn more about the most vulnerable groups during this pandemic.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to overtake America, dozens of headlinesare suggesting that social distancing and lockdowns could be causing a surge in child abuse.

Here’s the theory: Americans are losing their jobs at a rate unseen since the Great Depression, intensifying the strains on low-income families at risk of abusing or neglecting their children. During months of closed schools and shelter-in-place orders, such parents have also been tasked with full-time child care, a recipe for conflict in the home. Meanwhile, investigators and reporters of child maltreatment, such as teachers, are trying to monitor kids’ safety over Zoom,which is hardly adequate if their abuser is hovering just off-screen.

This all makes intuitive sense. And there is frightening reporting that at some hospitals, there have been more cases than usual of the most severe types of child abuse—including head injuries—in recent months, causing profound concern.

For most Americans, it is nothing short of horrific to think of even a single child being so injured by his or her own parents or family members as to require emergency medical treatment.

Yet family advocates, child welfare experts and state agency officials told The Marshall Project in interviews that any assumption of a significant spike in abuse may be premature—or overblown. And they are concerned, they say, that amid a national discussion about the over-policing of Black and brown people, it is mostly poor families of color who will be increasingly policed and stigmatized as a result of such hypothesizing.

Read the full article about a spike in child abuse by Eli Hager at The Marshall Project.