An increase of 10% in violent behavior against children but also by 30% in juvenile delinquency were recorded in Greece during the pandemic year 2020 the NGO “Initiative for the Child” has found out.
Presenting the annual statistics the “Initiative for the Child”, a collaborating body of the Union “Together for the Child”, based in Veria, announced that while Greek society is in quarantine due to the pandemic, incidents of violence against children has increased in 2020, when compared to 2019.
In half of the cases, parents who did not show violent behavior in the past, they used physical violence in order to punish and discipline their child when disobeying.
In the adolescent category, the rates of physical abuse by the parents did not change significantly.
At the same time, the requests by parents for counseling and psychological support increased by 50%, due to hostile behavior by adolescents.
Increase of drug consumption, delinquency among teenagers
The average age of adolescents’ first contact with substances (estimated at 13 years old) is constantly decreasing.
The use of hashish is the predominant substance of choice.
Teenagers of 16 years old and older experiment with other substances (hallucinogens, pills, etc.).
At the same time, the percentage of adolescents involved in delinquent acts is increasing.
In addition to acts of theft, burglary and destruction of foreign property, there are more and more cases of teenagers involved in drug trafficking, offering hashish for a peer to peers. Compared to the year 2019, it seems that the percentage of such cases has increased by 30%.
The “Child Initiative” points out that very often the expression of violence and the manifestation of delinquent behavior by children and adolescents comes from the emotional neglect by parents towards them, from the lack of establishing secure primary relationships, from the lack of proper setting of limits, from the relaxation of moral values and the lack of respect for key institutions of society.
Anxiety, depression and alcohol consumption by parents
Statistics have shown a 15% increase in alcohol and sedative consumption by parents as a means of relieving negative emotions that, combined with other stress factors,, can lead to a further decline in their social functioning.
In addition, requests by parents for alcohol dependence issues increased by 10%, requests for psychological support for people with anxiety disorders by 25% and requests for depressive disorders by 20%.
A huge increase of 60% has been recorded in the number of cases of families seeking psycho-social support services for cases of parental alienation.
Recommendations for the general population
The “Initiative for the Child” points out, among others, that the outbreak of the pandemic led to a state of crisis in individuals, social structures and groups, but also communities and the family itself.
The Initiative emphasizes that the internet is now an important part of the daily life of all family members.
The NGO reminds that the scientific team of phone line <11525> of the Union “Together for the Child” gives recommendations and directions which act as a shield to protect children and parents.