UnderstandingThe impact of COVID-19 on individuals, children, and families
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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Human Trafficking course and microbadge available through Justice U will give you an overview of the impact and connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing risk factors for human trafficking.
This course was created with subject matter expertise by Engage Together.
Rise in Domestic violence
As stay-at-home orders went in place across the country, many individuals became trapped at home with abusers, isolated, and unable to seek help. Throughout this time, there has been a rise in domestic violence. Safety plans have had to change, reaching out is harder, and accessing services is hindered by increased barriers. Some hotlines have been more frequent and some more silent. Hotlines have reported shorter, more frantic calls, often with calls reporting more violent abuse.
Globally, significant increases in domestic violence cases among marginalized populations are being reported. Overall, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for services and assistance, including shelter, food, and basic necessities.
Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.
Increased vulnerabilities forChild abuse
Financial and employment stresses, as well as parents' inability to care for children who are now home 24/7, are leaving children in unsafe home environments. With schools closed, reports of child abuse and/or neglect by educators has decreased nationally while emergency rooms are seeing in increase in severe injuries. Social workers are limited to virtual visits. Child sexual abuse has increased in the U.S. and globally, with a substantial rise in the number of minors contacting the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) and seeking help during this time.
The impact forHuman Trafficking
COVID-19 has increased the vulnerabilities that traffickers look to exploit such as hunger, unemployment, lack of healthcare, social marginalization and more. Social distancing has only driven traffickers to create new tactics and methods. Labor trafficking is likely to increase due to individuals taking jobs that don’t offer worker protections, pay little, or are otherwise exploitive. Commercial sexual exploitation is increasing online already, perpetrated both by those close to the victim, and those who target vulnerable individuals for the first time. Service providers have seen an increase in referrals, and targeted operations by law enforcement continue to take place.
The connection toOnline safety
During this time, individuals seeking, creating, and accessing child pornographic images and live-stream abuse videos has increased dramatically during this time.
Additionally, with schools closed globally, children and youth are spending more time online, increasing their risk of coming into contact with predators and traffickers. Without safety precautions and educating youth about exploiters tactics, youth may find themselves in harm's way.
These are a fewWays you can help
Human Trafficking Awareness Course (Justice U™)
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Engage Together Blog Article
Learn how to support your local community with our "Ways You Can Engage to Meet Needs During the Pandemic" blog article.
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