The impulse is understandable. For generations, we’ve read horror stories about parents beating, raping and murdering their children. The stories often are followed with statistics leaving the impression that there’s a child abuser under every bed. No wonder people would assume that a decline in child abuse reports due to COVID-19 is cause for alarm.
But the claim is built on a foundation of myth. Accepting it risks scaring vulnerable families away from seeking assistance, it risks deluging caseworkers with false reports, stealing time from finding children in real danger. It even risks increasing the spread of COVID-19.