The number of reports of child abuse in Ireland has reached its highest level in a year 3 weeks ago

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

Worrying figures.

According to a new report, reports to Tusla increased by a third in a single month over the summer.

In June of this year, a record 975 mandated reports of abuse were made to the Child and Family Agency, the highest number since last summer.

A select group of people can make these mandated reports, such as doctors, nurses, gardai, teachers, youth workers and others.

In May, 735 reports of child abuse were reported to Tusla – but this rose for the month of June, with 51 percent of the reports related to emotional abuse and 18 percent related 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 fewer 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."

Ward continues:

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

Tusla has commented, explaining 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.