Nancy Grace spotlights why child abuse cases are rising during coronavirus lockdown

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Former prosecutor and Fox Nation host Nancy Grace is raising the alarm over an apparent rise in child abuse amid the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown.

"The numbers of coronavirus victims are mounting but what about the victims that we never hear about," cautioned Grace on Fox Nation's "Crime Stories." "The victims that are dying behind closed doors, the victims that truly cannot be heard, that do not have a voice."

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"I'm talking about child abuse victims during coronavirus lockdown and quarantine," she continued, pointing to indications that while nationwide reports of child abuse are down, actual cases may be on the rise.

USAToday reported that Pennsylvania hospitals are treating more cases of severe abuse, yet the state's child abuse hotline is receiving fewer reports.

Dr. Lori Frasier, chief of the child abuse pediatrics division at Penn State Children's Hospital, told the paper "the worst is yet to come... We’re worried we’re at the beginning of an onslaught of cases."

Grace observed that lockdown conditions are exacerbating tensions in households, while simultaneously making it more difficult to root out instances of abuse.

"The schools are closed. I can't tell you how many teachers and school workers have alerted me to child abuse. So that layer of protection is gone," she said.

Certified child welfare law specialist and juvenile court judge Dr. Ashley Walcott added that good Samaritans have fewer opportunities to witness abuse and intervene.

"Children aren't out and about," said Walcott, "They're in their house. And so now a neighbor may not think anything of the fact that they never see a child in the neighborhood because all the children are supposed to be inside and so they're inside being abused and nobody can report it."

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According to Grace, another possible factor in a feared spike in abuse may be that children are essentially trapped with their abusers.

"There's more time for the abuser to be with the target, the victim, the child, because there's eight, 10 hours [that] they're home now that they weren't home before," she said.

Lastly, Grace acknowledged that added stressors caused by the lockdowns may trigger abusive adults.

The quarantine is "escalating tension," said Grace, "I'm out of work. I don't have money coming in. I can't pay the rent. There's my child. I think I'll beat them."

In this new episode, Grace investigated three shocking new cases, including a police report of a child locked by his grandmother in a shed.

"These cases I am bringing to you," warned Grace, "I want you to brace yourself for some of the worst I have heard of at a time so difficult for all of our country. Our children are suffering."

To watch all of this episode of "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace," go to Fox Nation and sign up today.

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