Prioritize a Canadian COVID-19 Protection Plan for Abused Children

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COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on abused children across Canada.

COVID-19 has put all vulnerable Canadian citizens at high risk. Apart from providing priority care for our seniors, sick, disabled and autoimmune compromised, we have a moral obligation to protect children living in domestic abuse.

Schools are a safe haven for many abused children. It is vitally important to stay at home during this outbreak to flatten the curve with social distancing. However, home is a very unsafe place for child abuse victims. 

Agencies that work to protect abused children have reported higher rates of abuse. This is true for reports of domestic abuse in general. Agencies are reporting an increase in abuse cases and the need to triage cases because of COVID-19. This will inevitably create a crisis in our care for child victims of violence. 

“Sometimes kids and youth tell me that breaks aren’t that good,” she said. “Home is a place where they’re exposed to domestic violence or child abuse. Without kids having a place to escape to and to engage with supportive adults, we will see an increase in child abuse. That is expected.”

This week, Goldade says a case of suspected abuse in a child with serious developmental issues was shelved because it didn’t have a high enough acuity rating for the current triaging of cases.

“It tortures me,” Goldade said. “What’s going to happen when the next call comes in for that child?” 

[Source: CBC https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-increase-in-child-abuse-a-big-concern-during-covid-19-pandemic/

We must come together to give voice to the voiceless. We must prioritize child health, mental health and safety. Please sign this petition to let our Federal Government of Canada know that we have a moral and legal obligation to ensure child rights to protection and safety. Before we talk about bailing out corporations, we must first budget resources for critical child services. Our abused children cannot wait.