The lockdowns or stay-at-home orders surrounding COVID-19 are increasing domestic and child abuse, child sexual exploitation, alcohol consumption, pornography, mental stress, and suicide.
Forbes reported on a news report from the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows mental health stress is increasing for everyone. By mid-March, 32 percent of people polled said the worry and stress about COVID-19 had a negative effect on their mental health. By the end of March, that number rose to 45 percent. The numbers are even higher for parents with children under 18, with mothers feeling the stress more than fathers.
Domestic violence and child abuse have also increased. The American Psychological Association has warned that the social stresses associated with increased abuse and violence are present, including loss of job or strained finances and disconnection from social systems and support. Many shelters are closed or under-resourced.
The New York Times reported: “Mounting data suggests that domestic abuse is acting like an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic.” The rise in domestic violence is occurring worldwide. The national domestic abuse website in the United Kingdom saw an increase of traffic by 150 percent.
NPR reported an increase in online child sexual exploitation since the COVID-19 lockdowns. There has even been an increase in child sexual abuse being streamed live online. The increase in child sexual exploitation is due in part to children being at home, increased stress, increased consumption of alcohol, and an increase in viewing pornography online.
There has been a dramatic increase in viewing pornography. For example, India saw a 95 percent increase in demand for online pornography. But this phenomenon is not isolated to any one country. The pandemic has increased online pornography in many parts of the world. Some people who were addicted to pornography have relapsed during the lockdowns.
There has also been an increase of suicides reported. Some law firms that practice in the area of domestic law have seen an increase in requests for divorce.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “There are many forgotten people who have become collateral damage in these far-reaching lockdowns. We must not forget them, and we must do better to protect the people who are being harmed by the government’s response to COVID-19. Churches are more essential now than before the pandemic.”