(LOS ANGELES) — Oscar-winner, U.N. humanitarian ambassador, and TIME contributing editor Angelina Jolie is using a new column in the magazine to bring to light a new danger of the COVID-19 pandemic: the risk isolating can cause abused children.
Jolie writes, “Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers, meaning that the social distancing that is necessary to stop COVID-19 is one that will inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children.”
Citing the statistic that, “in America, an estimated 1 in 15 children is exposed to intimate partner violence each year,” she explains, m,,. “90% of them as eyewitnesses to the violence.”
Jolie adds, “There are already reports of a surge in domestic violence around the world, including violent killings. It comes at a time when children are deprived of the very support networks that help them cope: from their trusted friends and teachers to after-school sports activities and visits to a beloved relative’s house that provide an escape from their abusive environment.”
The mother, actress and activist posits, “The economic fallout of COVID-19 has been swift and brutal. Lockdowns…have resulted in job losses and economic insecurity, increasing stress, pressure and uncertainty for many families. We know that stress at home increases the risk of domestic violence, whether in a developed economy or a refugee camp.”
Jolie adds, “What are we doing now to step up to protect vulnerable children from suffering harm during the shutdown that will affect them for the rest of their lives?…. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an effort by the whole of our country to give children the protection and care they deserve.”
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