RAINN’s public policy team is working with state agencies to address emergency preparedness and response measures for survivors of sexual violence, particularly children, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During natural disasters and in conflict zones, the prevalence of sexual violence increases,” said Camille Cooper, RAINN’s vice president of public policy. “There are so many things we need to consider in this crisis to ensure that we’re doing all we can to prevent sexual violence and appropriately respond when it does happen.”
Stay-at-home orders across the nation prompt questions about how the health and safety of children will be affected, especially for those who are required to stay at home with an abuser in their household.
If a mandated reporter or child reports abuse, the standard response protocols may be impeded by the crisis, given that law enforcement is stretched thin and child advocacy centers are not fully operational.
“We’re reaching out to centers and organizations across the country and urging them to develop a plan to protect children in these situations,” said Cooper.