Isolated and unsafe: ISPCC Childline reports an increase in calls since schools were closed
Unsafe, scared and all alone now.
According to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), they have recorded a 26 percent increase in users of the Childline website in the week between March 12th (the day the schools were closed here in Ireland) and up until March 19th, compared with the week previous.
In fact, according to the charity, there has been an increase in contacts across all platforms compared to the previous week:
- 19.8 percent increase in text contacts
- 8.9 percent increase in phone engagements
- 4.6 percent increase in online engagements
In a statement issued yeststerday, ISPCC chief executive John Church spoke of the increase in contact the charity is experiencing and appealed to the public to continue to support the ISPCC Childline during this extremely difficult period for many children:
“Imagine being a child at home right now Except their home is not a happy place. Tension fills the air."
Naturally, due to the current restrictions on movement and social contact, vital fundraising activities on which Childline depends have been put on hold. But, Church explains, child abuse does not stop in a pandemic. Not does neglect.
"Nor do mental health difficulties or self-harm. In many cases, children and young people across the country are experiencing these issues more acutely now than ever before. Many of those who contact Childline tell us they feel as though they have nowhere else to turn. They need our help."
The ISPCC Childline will be there for the children of Ireland, Church explains, but to do so, they are completely dependent on support from the public.
"Childline will continue to be there for them 24 hours a day, every day – but only if we receive public support at this critical time. We rely on donations for 90 per cent of our funding."
He appealed to the public to help share a sense of hope with the children who call Childline, to “let them know that someone cares”.
Donations to the ISPCC can be made here.