Children and young people, increasingly abused during the pandemic

It is the most vulnerable, children and young people, who pay the price for the more than two years of the pandemic. The new explains it Regional index of child abuse in Italy edited by the Cesvi Foundation and edited by researchers Giovanna Badalassi and Federica Gentile, who dedicated a focus on the safety of young people at this critical stage.

“The pandemic has dramatically increased all risk factors which is the basis of childhood abuse, “explained Gloria Zavatta, chair of the foundation,” which in many cases acts as a detonator in situations of past difficulties: poverty and unemployment, deterioration of mental health, isolation and contraction of social relationships “.

The index analyzes the vulnerability of children in each of the Italian regions through an analysis of the risk factors present in the area and the ability of local authorities to prevent and combat the phenomenon through the services they offer. The result is a ranking based on 64 indicators classified in terms of six different capacities: ability to care for oneself and others, live a healthy life, live a secure life, acquire knowledge and knowledge, work and access resources. and services.

Child abuse is a particularly serious problem that produces approxdramatic consequences for the health of the addicts in the short and long term, on their psycho-physical balance and more generally on society as a whole. “Abused ex-children become adults living with a heavy pain burden that they often place on their own children, which generates a vicious cycle of intergenerational transmission that only an external intervention can interrupt, ”explains Cesvi. “Violence against minors is therefore a systemic phenomenon which cannot be traced solely to family-relational dynamics, but which represents a serious public health problem before, during and after the pandemic, and which requires a global approach”.

In the first year of the pandemic, a boom in access to emergency rooms for neuropsychiatric disorders: The Italian Society of Pediatrics recorded an increase in hospitalizations of over 80% due to suicidal ideation, depression and eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia). Istat has also certified one deterioration of healthespecially among young people: in the second year of the pandemic, the mental health index fell sharply in the age group 14-19 years, while the number of young people declaring dissatisfaction doubled

Crime involving children and young people is also on the rise: according to data from the criminal police, ie ill-treatment of family members and minors increased by 11% in 2020. In the first year of the shutdown, child pornography and online crimes also grew exponentially (+ 77%).

According to data collected by the anti-violence and stalking issue of 1522, violence against women has also increased dramatically, which in most cases is consumed right in the victim’s home. But the police forces have registered a sharp drop in complaints: It is a direct consequence of confinement in the home and thus of the greater control that the cohabitant exercises. Domestic violence often manifests itself in violence of minors: according to Istat, about 50% of children witness violence, while 10% suffer from it.

The biggest criticism has been reported in southern Italy: The last four positions in the index are occupied by Campania, Sicily, Calabria and Puglia, which constitute important overall systemic problems.

Emilia-Romagna is the region with the best capabilities to deal with child abuse, in a final synthesis between risk factors and services (in 2021 it was Trentino-Alto Adige). Followed by Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Tuscany and Liguria. The “very critical” regions with high risk factors are Campania, Sicily, Calabria, Puglia, Molise, Basilicata, Abruzzo and Marche.

Leave a Comment