Britain has taken a “terrible backwards step” in its treatment of children as cases of smacking and physical abuse soar in lockdown, the NSPCC chief executive has warned.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Telegraph, Sir Peter Wanless said the rise of physical violence against children during the pandemic has left him feeling “disturbed”.
He warns families being locked up at home, which has seen children being educated by parents, has had a “pressure cooker” effect.
Sir Peter said: “One of the things that has really disturbed me is that I think, as a nation, we were increasingly intolerant of the physical abuse of children, and there have been times in the past when the NSPCC has really had to shout strongly about children being hit and knocked around, that sort of thing.
“And increasingly, the focus has been on emotional abuse and sexual abuse and people have gradually become more attuned to those types of abuse as well, and able to sort of spot them and say that’s not okay.
“I think one of the most shocking things for me during this period has been that we have had young people coming to us who have experienced physical violence at the hands of family members around them and that feels like such a terrible backwards step, and, I assume, can only be a consequence of this pressure cooker environment and intensive situation which people find themselves shut away in with no chance of an escape.
“So there are more tragic examples, and more vivid individual examples [of individual children’s stories] but I think that physical violence coming back [has impacted me the most].”
Read more via The Telegraph