Reports of child abuse reached highest level for 12 months in June | #childabuse | #children | #kids

The number of reports of child abuse has reached its highest level in a year.

New figures show reports to Tusla increased by a third in a single month over the summer.

A select group of people can make what are called mandated reports of abuse to the Child and Family Agency.

They include doctors, nurses, gardai, teachers, youth workers and others.

In May, they made 735 reports of child abuse to Tusla – but this rose to 975 in June, the highest since 12 months before.

Some 51% of them related to emotional abuse and 18% to physical abuse.

In June, Tusla also got 140 reports of sexual abuse and 115 complaints of neglect.

Tanya Ward, the chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said the increase is down to more reports by the gardai during the COVID pandemic.

“There have been less referrals by teachers over the three months of the lockdown,” she said.

“That Was partly due to the fact that children were not in school and teachers who are normally the main people that get to see children every day and get to see if there is a change in behaviour, were not getting to see children in the same way.

“We know the Gardaí actually have made a significant increase in referrals to Tusla.

Tusla said there was an initial drop in reports of abuse during the early stages of the lockdown but it then made significant efforts to encourage more referrals.

Reporting from Eoghan Murphy


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