National Sexual Assault Hotline sees record demand during pandemic. Many reaching out are children.

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Rape and incest Hotline

Many of them call when they feel there is nowhere else to turn.

The girl whose brother was brought home by the pandemic and began to abuse her again. The victim separated from her favorite teacher after a coronavirus-related school closure. The child who urgently needed help calling 911.

As the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed the country, more children are reaching out to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network's National Sexual Assault Hotline, which said this week it's experiencing its highest demand for services in its 26-year history. In May and June, half of visitors to RAINN's online hotline, which sees some of the most urgent cases, were minors.

"Their safety net collapsed during this period," said RAINN president Scott Berkowitz. "Normally the first people to spot signs of abuse are adults outside the immediate family. Teachers and guidance counselors and the parents of friends. Once kids were cut off from that support group, we've seen in a lot of states that reports to child abuse authorities have declined."

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