Numbers increase for youths at risk on streets due to lockdown – report

For many, home is not a safe place.

Survey on Smoking and drinking alcohol (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Survey on Smoking and drinking alcohol
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The countrywide lockdown will go into effect at 5 p.m. today, which means that many people must remain at home – but for many kids, that is not an option. Due to the stress of coronavirus, kids are going to the streets to use drugs, self-mutilate or even to prostitute themselves as a way to avoid home, according to a report by the non-profit ELEM as reported by Walla News.
According to the latest guidelines, as in the second lockdown, students in grades 5-10 will not be returning to regular classrooms, but will instead have to learn in a virtual setting at home. And for many of them, home is not a safe place. ELEM has reported that compared to the same period last year, the amount of children suffering from anxiety and depression is 4.4 times greater.
During the months of September and November 2020, some 6,517 kids have turned to ELEM for assistance, an increase of 41%. And for 1,700 kids, this is their first time going to ELEM, according to Walla, citing the report.
That is a large increase from previous months. Many of the kids that have reached ELEM suffer anxiety and depression not only because of the lockdown, but because they come from homes that are considered abusive – physically, verbally or emotionally.
The coronavirus pandemic hit many sectors in Israel. In anticipation of this next lockdown, at-risk youths who look forward to school as a means of escape are searching for different avenues and falling back again on old, bad habits.