12 November 2020
Lockdown: The devastating impact on children
There is no doubt that lockdown has had a significant impact upon all of us; some far more than others. In a recent report, Ofsted noted that some children hardest hit by Covid-19 measures have regressed during the pandemic, with some who were potty-trained pre-lockdown reverting to nappies, while others are forgetting how to count or how to use a knife and fork. Older children have reportedly lost physical fitness as well as reading and writing skills, and some are showing signs of mental distress, which can be seen in a marked increase in eating disorders and self-harm. It has also been noted that more children are being taken out of school to be educated at home, as many families are fearful of catching Covid-19.
When the Government announced the first lockdown, there were concerns that these measures would be catastrophic for children for whom school was their only sanctuary and also create a difficult home environment, which would see an exponential rise in cases of domestic abuse. It appears that sadly both were well founded. Nationally, the amount of domestic abuse (which includes emotional and financial abuse as well as physical abuse) reported has increased significantly and there have been a higher than average number of those incredibly tragic cases where partners have killed their partners and/or children. It’s important to note that family courts are open and family solicitors are able to obtain emergency orders where a party to a relationship and/ or their children have been victims of domestic abuse. These hearings are taking place remotely and orders can be obtained without any notice to the perpetrators. Orders can also be obtained in the most serious and urgent cases within a matter of hours of contacting a specialist family solicitor.
Children may also be suffering as a result of self-isolation or being educated at home with divorcing parents, as they are exposed to more conflict than usual. The family court considers the welfare of a child to be a paramount consideration, so if a child is suffering physical or emotional harm, then applications can be made to Court and protective orders obtained. For example, the court has a range of powers to make orders to exclude perpetrators of abuse from the family home, as well as settling both short term and longer term arrangements for the children.
Here at B P Collins we have a highly experienced team on hand to advise clients in respect of the issues arising from lockdown and the impact it is having on families. You can contact any member of our team on 01753 279070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful contact numbers:
- National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
- Women’s Aid
- The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
- The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
- Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123