RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: The confinement of people, particularly children at home for extended period of time due to the Covid-induced lockdown and partial curfew, has resulted in rise in incidence of domestic violence and child abuse, opine child psychologists.
Dr M Kalyani, a noted child psychologist from Samalkot in East Godavari district and settled in Visakhapatnam, said a group of child psychologists launched a helpline to hear the voices of children and counsel them not to develop psychological disorders.
Under the aegis of Child Line Protection Forum, the group of psychologists has started the helpline to offer counselling to students up to Class X and it is getting 15 to 20 calls a day. People from both the Telugu States and even from neighbouring States can contact the psychologists.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Dr Kalyani said during their interaction with children they were asked for protection from abuse and violence. She said some children are feeling mental stress after being forced by their parents to attend online classes.
"They have been deprived of physical activity with no access to playground and no interaction with other students. For the past one year, the normal lives of several children have been derailed," she said.
She suggested that children be kept away from watching TV as most of the time the news is revolving around Covid-19. With opening of liquor outlets, the incidence of children being subjected to abuse has increased and some children are silently bearing the aggressive behaviour of their parents, she said.
"Mental agony, anxiety and behavioural changes are some of the problems being faced by children. In poor families, instances of sexual abuse are also on the rise," she observed.
Asked about increase in cases of child abuse in Covid times, Women and Child Welfare Officer Narasamma said, “People are reluctant to complain about child abuse. If instances of child abuse are brought to our notice, we will take remedial action.”
Dr M Kalyani - 8096865466
Dr K Jaggarao - 93914 31411
Dr NS Krishna Rao - 8674618480