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

Publication date 2020

Our briefing uses insight from NSPCC helpline contacts and Childline counselling sessions to highlight the impact of sexual 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:

  • abuse getting worse during lockdown
  • relatives providing childcare
  • sexual abuse by a family member
  • previous experience of child sexual abuse
  • speaking out during the pandemic
  • finding support.
Download The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on child welfare: sexual abuse
Download the briefing (PDF)

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My dad has been sexually abusing me nearly all my life. It wasn’t so bad before because it didn’t happen so much. I would ignore it and just go to school and enjoy things like seeing my friends. But in lockdown dad is doing it 5 or 6 times a day and it is really hurting... I do want help making it stop but I am so worried that someone would come to the house and bring in coronavirus and we will all die – it isn’t worth the risk. I might try and get some help when the coronavirus is over.

Girl, aged 11, Childline
I am ringing with concerns for my 6-year-old grandson who I suspect is being sexually abused by his father. My grandson is not seeing his father due to coronavirus but supervised contact is due to start up after the pandemic. I need advice on how I can stop my grandson from having to see his father.

Grandmother, NSPCC helpline

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

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