April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and with the stay-at-home advisory and home quarantines in place for many, the threat of child abuse at home and sex trafficking online is at an all-time high. Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good, CEO Selah Way and Selah Freedom, two of the nation’s leading anti-sex trafficking organizations and author of Groomed (HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson), hopes to help equip those who are practicing social distancing–neighbors, postal delivery workers, delivery persons and more–with information that could help them spot abuse from a distance.
Abuse prevention hotlines are seeing less child abuse cases reported because many of the people who would make reports, such as school teachers or school counselors, even neighbors, are not in regular contact with children who are at risk.
Child abuse risk higher during coronavirus outbreak:
- There are an exponential number of sites promoting child porn.
- Types of child abuse include neglect, physical injury, mental and emotional injury, sexual abuse, threats of harm and sex trafficking recruitment through the internet.
- Children and teens who are isolated in their home sequestered with their abusers, will lose a safe space to call for help.
Isolation as it relates to pornography and sex traffic recruitment:
- 8- to 12-year-olds spend six hours on technology/media everyday.
- 13- to 18-year-olds spend nine hours on tech/media everyday.
- Pornography gets more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.
- Teen porn continues to be in the top 10 searched porn categories.
- Average age of first exposure to pornography is 11 years old. 93% of adolescent boys have viewed porn and 62% of girls.
How people who are social distancing can help spot abuse from afar:
- An apparent lack of supervision.
- Bruising around the arms and neck are instant red flags. However, many abusers are wise enough to only leave marks where they will be covered by clothing.
- Parents staying at home with children can monitor which web pages and streaming movies kids are viewing online.
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good, author of Groomed (HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson)is the CEO and cofounder of Selah Freedom and the Selah Way Foundation, which exist to prevent sexual abuse, exploitation, and sex trafficking of children and young adults.