The services of child protection are concerned about the plight of children at risk of experiencing violence, whereas the pandemic is stretching. “We think that we don’t have the time just based on the reality of children,” say stakeholders, who agree that the absence of “safety nets” complicates the detection of new cases.
Both Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches regions, the question of abuse of family concerned. As elsewhere in the province, the reports have declined over the last few months, but the violence, she has never stopped. The police services of the region confirmed elsewhere in the Journal this week have been a rise of 20 % to 30 % of cases of family violence.
“There is no decrease in activity, certainly not,” admits Dr. Marc-André Dugas, chief of the department of pediatrics of the Centre mère-enfant Soleil of the CHU de Québec.
The situation is also worrying for some groups, such as young children.
“We are very worried for the infants. We continue to deal with in our services unexplained injuries. It was in a worrying way, ” says Paule Vachon, coordinator of the SIAM, the Service built-in abuse and maltreatment of the CIUSSS of the National Capital.
The result is the same on the South Shore. “There’s a lot of young children 0 to 2 years with the abuse,” says Caroline Brown, director of the protection de la jeunesse Chaudière-Appalaches. “Is this what it is a lot more than before ? All I can say is that it was a lot, ” she adds, noting that it is too early to draw statistical conclusions.
Older children are also at risk, remind the stakeholders. Even if the school is re-run, the short period of six weeks, and the presence on a voluntary basis play against the reporting of abuse.
“The most vulnerable children, we realize that often, the parents decided to keep them at home,” says Caroline Brown. “Those whose situation was known, continues to be followed, but those that we did not in our records, they are the ones that are difficult to identify currently. “
The concern also remains high for the secondary, which will not resume until the fall. “Adolescents are of concern to us, because they do not report themselves. The school environment plays a large role usually ” confirms Paule Vachon.
The statement in the networks of child protection, is that the longer the confinement will be long, more children will be at risk. It would be important that these children are able to resume their usual contacts.
“The children have fewer contacts everywhere. With the family, the surroundings, the neighbourhood, the daycare, the teachers and even passers-by at the grocery store, for example, who could be witnesses to something. […] The longer it will last, the worse it will be for young people, ” says Ms. Brown.