Amid own divorce troubles, Angelina Jolie took time to warn against child abuse and how online teachers can still be at the forefront of the fight against this phenomenon. Because of the pandemic forcing schools to shift to online methods, children and teens ended up in their homes.
This is well and good, but what if scary and life-changing abuses are taking place at these supposed-to-be safe places? Who are children going to approach if they cannot see their own teachers and are in constant earshot of their abusers?
Angelina Jolie reminded teachers that their roles in helping children abused at home do not stop if they are now teaching online. More than ever, it is up to them to be vigilant for the kids who have their chances to tell, or seek distraction outside their homes. The actress called for improved training for teachers, claiming children are faced with "increased exposure to life-changing violence."
They never get to leave their homes during the coronavirus pandemic for their safety, but this safety is probably compromised at home too.
In an op-ed published Wednesday by Los Angeles Times, the "Maleficent" actress, 44, said a drastic decline in the number of child abuse cases was reported between April and May because of school closures. This is not because these abuses no longer happen, but because the children have lost their access to people who would listen or people to report to.
Suppose the pandemic continues without online teachers being aware of the dangers that their students are in. In that case, this lack of action on "preventable violence" could lead to frightening consequences on the safety and health of American children, including their mental health.
It's amazing how the actress took time to address this problem, even if she has some personal issues at the moment..
The actress and humanitarian added that violence in the US is continuously on the rise, and yet it has become so normalized to a scale that the government does not even consider it an urgent problem that should be solved anymore. It is incumbent upon ordinary citizens to stop these cases, which are numbering by millions every year. By ordinary citizens, this includes the teacher, regardless if they are not teaching online.
They can still pick up clues on their students' behaviors and appearances in these online classes. Teachers previously accounted for a fifth of child abuse reports in a year, and going online should not make them indifferent already.
Apart from teachers, family and friends during the pandemic can still make sure their loved one, especially a child, is not being abused at home. There is no need to act blindly because of the perception that child abuse is not really harm if it is committed by a parent or by someone dear to the child.
'As hard as it is for anyone to accept that someone they know or love is abusive, friends and families must have the moral strength to identify abuse and put the health and safety of a child above all else,' she wrote.
Jolie is not making numbers up in her head. She is also not spreading false urgency. In July, it was revealed that domestic violence cases have doubled in New York City alone. It is a trend happenng in most places today.