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Lockdown measures led to rise in abuse at home


Lockdown measures led to rise in abuse at home
Patron of Soroptimist International Barbados, President The Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason (left), installing new president Amanda Lynch-Foster at the annual general meeting. (Picture by Tonia Atwell.)

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Measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 contributed to social fallout in families and negatively impacted the lives of children across Barbados, particularly during the periods of lockdown.

This is according to director of the Child Care Board, Roseann Richards, who was speaking during a recent webinar entitled Neglect: Beyond Food, Clothing And Shelter – Part 2.

Richards said that in some instances, the change in living conditions and circumstances led to behavioural changes by people living in the home and to children being abused.

She said that the COVID-19 pandemic had consequences for individuals at all ages, families, communities and institutions at all levels.

“At the individual and family level . . . most of us are aware of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, and during lockdown these things could escalate,” she said.

Noting that she did not have all the empirical data, Richards said that one of the main social fallouts during the lockdown, mainly resulting from overcrowding in some homes, was abuse.

She added that concerns regarding financial security also placed additional stress on family members, who, in some instances, did not know how to respond to the situation and the new dynamics which it presented.

Richards further noted that the discontinuation of social activities such as hugging and shaking hands in favour of social distancing, and the closure of schools and churches, in response to COVID, also impacted individuals and families. (BGIS)