Impact of COVID-19 lockdown: Domestic and child abuse in Bridgend.
Long, Sarah A
Rees, Sophie C
Child Abuse Negl
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Rengasamy, E. R., Long, S. A., Rees, S. C., Davies, S., Hildebrandt, T., & Payne, E. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 lockdown: Domestic and child abuse in Bridgend.. Child Abuse Negl https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105386
INTRODUCTION: Financial stress, social stress and lack of support at home can precipitate domestic and child abuse (World Health Organization, 2020). These factors have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic (NSPCC, 2020b) (NSPCC, 2020a). We hypothesise an increase in Bridgend's domestic and child abuse during lockdown. METHOD: Data was collected retrospectively from 23rd March to 30th September 2020 and compared to the same time period in 2019. Wales-wide data on domestic abuse was shared by the Welsh Government's Live Fear free helpline. Local data was shared by domestic abuse charity CALAN, the Emergency Department (ED) and Paediatric Department of Princess of Wales Hospital (POWH). RESULTS: During lockdown, Live Fear Free reported increasing average monthly contact across Wales in 2020 (511 April; 631 December). Locally, CALAN reported a 190% increase in self-referrals and a 198% increase in third party referrals, but there was a 36% decrease in referrals from Police for domestic abuse. The Paediatric Department observed a 67% decrease in child protection medical examinations (CPMEs) undertaken (52 vs. 17). 23 examinations in 2019 were referred from schools compared to 1 in 2020. There was a greater proportion of self-referrals for CPMEs in 2020. ED child protection referrals increased from 189 (2019) to 204 (2020). CONCLUSION: There was an increase in self-referrals to local support services for domestic and child abuse concerns and an increase in referrals from families/friends for child protection concerns. This was not the case with police, ED and schools/nurseries referrals. This suggests reduced engagement with public sector organisations during lockdown which services should consider.
Child Abuse, Neglect, Domestic Abuse, Lockdown, Covid-19
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105386
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332383