The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: physical abuse

Publication date 2020

Our briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of physical abuse on children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

It contains quotes from children and young people that some people may find upsetting.

Key themes include:

  • the impact of physical abuse on children
  • physical punishment
  • life under lockdown
  • young people’s behaviour
  • protecting younger siblings
  • non-recent abuse
  • domestic abuse
  • speaking out.
Download The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: physical abuse
Download the briefing (PDF)

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“My mum and dad hit me and my younger brother today. Since lockdown my mum and dad have been getting angry with each other and then they end up hitting us. They have punched and hit us on our legs, arms and sometimes our faces. I have got some bruises and marks. It hardly ever happened before lockdown. Nobody else knows about it and my parents have threatened that things will get worse if we tell anyone. I am finding it really hard."

Boy aged 9, Childline
"I am concerned about my son's emotional wellbeing, he lives with his father. My son has told me when he is not well behaved his father hits him with a leather belt. My ex-partner has tried to restrict my son from contacting me by confiscating his phone on regular occasions. I haven't seen my son for a while because of the lockdown and I'm not sure what to do."

Mother, NSPCC helpline

Please cite as: NSPCC (2020) The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: physical abuse. Insight briefing. London: NSPCC.

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