What teachers can do to protect students from domestic violence & abuse during the pandemic
The global pandemic shares more than an unseen enemy called COVID-19, domestic violence and child abuse reports are dramatically rising all over the world.
According to a Washington Post article written by Miriam Berger on April 1, increases of domestic violence are being attributed to the stress and confinement of the pandemic. According to her article, a domestic violence hotline in Spain reported a 270% increase in calls. It also reported officials in Greenland banned the sale of alcohol in their capital city to help curve their dramatic surge in cases. Tunisia reported a 500% increase to their abuse hotline and the government of France has gone as far as to set up locations in stores, one of the few places women can still get to, where victims can find help.
— these are domestic violence cases. Since schools are the primary advocates and interventionists for many abused children, heart-broken teachers are fully aware that those in volatile situations are particularly vulnerable during the stay-at-home orders.
Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth Texas reported this on March 20th, "Doctors at Cook Children’s believe the stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic are linked to seven cases of severe child abuse seen at the hospital just this week. Two of those children have died." (Typically, Cook reports 6 deaths from child abuse in an entire year). "All of the children admitted this week were under 4 years old."
Shannon MacNeil reporting for NBC news Montana quoted Dr. Laurie Carter, a pediatric hospitalist at Community Children’s in Missoula as saying, "It may be that after we no longer have to practice social distancing, that these cases are just going to come in large numbers because when the children return to school or daycare, people will recognize that there has been maltreatment in the interim."
Berger completed her article with this quote by Renata Field, a coordinator for Domestic Violence NSW in Australia. "In the fight against both the virus and violence, women worldwide have turned to the Internet to share tips and strategies...As governments and organizations struggle to keep up, educating friends and neighbors to help fill the void is crucial.”
Families are stressed by the global pandemic, uncertainties, fear, finances, isolation, working from home while homeschooling children. It can overwhelm even the strongest of families if we're not able to help them get some of the pressure off.
Just as in social distancing, each of us has an opportunity, perhaps a social responsibility to be a hero to the families in our sphere of influence. The bigger your sphere, the greater the chance you can help prevent domesic violence, child abuse, and hopelessness.
For those who may not know me, my name is Deanna Rhinehart, I'm a forerunner in emotional safety education (ESE) and campus culture strategies for schools, homes, businesses, and churches. As our contribution to help beat the virus, we're giving away a very special Family Night Adventure called Family Rules. This instant, done-for-you family date-night provides a much needed break from the pressures at hand while providing coping tools to help families navigate stress within the home. It includes fun, activities, and a step-by-step guide to create family rules, based on honor, love and respect.
This is a FREE resource and includes The Ultimate Parent Survival Guide with additional tools and tips for the basics of sharing, taking turns, and kindness. It's amazing how the smallest of tools can prevent children from melting down and parents from losing it.
I put these resources together ($100 value) as a gift you can give to students, friends, families, clients, or employees. All you need to do is include the link in your email, text or post.
Together, we can do this, but it requires each of us to intentionally share with those we know and serve. We invite you to share on a personal level as well as on a corporate level in any of the following sectors.
Public and Private Schools
Pediatric Health Care Providers
Day Cares and Pre-Schools
Churches and Children's Ministries
Employers to Gift to Employees
Employers to Gift to Patrons
Your text, email, or social post can help a family in crisis and potentially keep a child safe (or save a parent from their children!)
Together we can do this!
Deanna Rhinehart, Founder Championeers! Emotional Safety Education Systems