Conn. (WTNH) — Just as domestic violence has increased during the pandemic, cases of child sex abuse both nationally and in Connecticut are also on the rise, according to the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Between February 2020 and January 2021, there were 1,708 crisis calls on the hotline responded to by alliance member centers. 497 calls were from victims of completed rape or attempted rape, according to the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Service centers statewide saw an increase of about 9% in the number of people requesting help to deal with sexual violence, including child sexual abuse.
So, what can we do to protect our children? The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence told News 8 there are a host of signs to look for.
“What we know generally about child sexual abuse is that oftentimes there are things that are sort of building up to it. So, it’s not just that someone is sexually assaulted. There tends to be lots of little behavior changes. Things like you’re saying ‘unwanted touching.’ All those grooming behaviors that lead up to it. So it’s really important to pay attention to all of that,” said Beth Hamilton, Executive Director of Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Hamilton said sexual violence tends to be a crime of opportunity and parents may have been distracted with everything they had to deal with during the pandemic.
To help combat the problem, the alliance has organized a “CT All In” campaign. You can learn more here.