LOCKDOWN’S devastating impact on the mental health and abuse of children has been laid bare, following a spike in emergency calls.

From March 23 to May 3 there was an 11.6% rise in the proportion of youngsters reporting violence at home.

Leading non-profit organisation the ANAR Foundation (Ayuda a Niños y Adolescentes) received 1,441 cries for help from kids during this period.

Around 47.7% of these were for violence, the group said, compared to 36.1% for the previous month and a half.

Psychological issues (including anxiety, sadness and self-harm) make up 23.5% of reports to ANAR.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts have made up 8.3% of ANAR’s calls during the crisis, compared to just 1.9% on average throughout 2019.

An ANAR spokesperson said: “Without a doubt, these psychological problems should make us think about the despair which many children and adolescents are experiencing.”

Meanwhile domestic violence (including physical and psychological abuse) is the most common form of violence flagged up to ANAR.

This is followed by gender-based violence, sexual abuse and abandonment.

Throughout Spain’s coronavirus lockdown, children have been able to report abuse using the secure ANAR Chat service, which erases victims’ messages.

After children aged 14 and under were permitted to leave their homes on April 26, ANAR reopened its 24-hour helplines.

For more information visit anar.org

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