A leading children’s campaigner believes young people across Dundee are being left with “no escape” from abuse during the current coronavirus lockdown.
Laurie Matthew, manager of Eighteen and Under, says the restrictions are leading to children feeling “trapped” as they deal with abusive parents or family members.
Eighteen and Under, based on Victoria Road, has received a spike in calls from worried youngsters who are looking for advice as they deal with trouble at home.
Ms Matthew said: “Sadly home isn’t a safe place for every young person. There are many who live in homes in Dundee where they face regular abuse.
“In normal circumstances they can get out of the house to go to school and meet their friends, gaining respite from the regular abuse they suffer.
“Right now they are virtually trapped in their homes and there is no escape for many from the abuse they are suffering from.
“This is happening in Dundee and all over Tayside.”
The rise in calls to Eighteen and Under aligns with an increase across the UK, with the NSPCC previously revealing there had been a 20% spike in those seeking help.
Ms Matthew has admitted she is worried by the rise in children seemingly being subjected to abuse but said she was more troubled by those who will fear reaching out to the services available.
She added: “Some of these young people are contacting us but we are aware that many are afraid to get in touch and many others have no one else to turn to.
“We are doing what we can to offer support and guidance but we often have to earn the young person’s trust before they actually tell us exactly what is happening to them. Many are also afraid to tell their friends in case they tell someone else.”
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless previously said the rise in calls from children suffering abuse had been “troubling”.
He added: The longer the lockdown goes on, the more intense and at-risk children are if they are invisible to the outside world.”