Children might not be at risk for coronavirus, but Angelina Jolie is revealing how children are still vulnerable during the pandemic.
The 44-year-old Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian wrote an op-ed piece for Time in which she says that young people who are victims of abuse will be unsafe at home during isolation.
“Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers, meaning that the social distancing that is necessary to stop COVID-19 is one that will inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children,” Angelina said in her article.
She added, “It comes at a time when children are deprived of the very support networks that help them cope: from their trusted friends and teachers to after-school sports activities and visits to a beloved relative’s house that provide an escape from their abusive environment.”
Angelina recently donated $1 million to No Kid Hungry to support children who no longer have access to daily meals because of the school shutdowns.
“For millions of children and youth globally, schools are a lifeline of opportunity as well as a shield, offering protection — or at least a temporary reprieve — from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstances, including sexual exploitation, forced marriage and child labor and domestic violence,” Angelina wrote. “It’s not just that children have lost support networks. Lockdown also means fewer adult eyes on their situation. In child abuse cases, Child Protective Services are most often called by third parties such as teachers, guidance counselors, after school program coordinators and coaches.”
Angelina has asked that people make sure to “make a point of calling family or friends, particularly where we might have concerns that someone is vulnerable.”
She concluded the piece by saying, “It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an effort by the whole of our country to give children the protection and care they deserve.