Violence against children increased – the corona victims that nobody talks about


Her suffering has nothing to do with shortness of breath, loss of taste or other Covid-19 symptoms. And yet more and more children are victims of the corona pandemic. Beaten, burned, abused.

The crime statistics for 2020 are worrying: 10 percent more cases of abuse of wards compared to 2019. Child abuse has also increased by almost seven percent. There were even 53 percent more registered cases of distribution of child pornography. 152 children were killed intentionally or negligently, 40 more than in 2019.

For 16 years, the children’s competence center – just renamed Childhood-Haus – at the Hamburg University Hospital has been a lifeline for mistreated, neglected or abused children.

A shocking number: in 2021, the team led by Prof. Dr. Dragana Seifert examined almost 1000 suspected cases of abuse and violence against children. The forensic doctors are supported by pediatrician Hanna Roese (29), her position is co-financed by the BILD aid organization “Ein Herz für Kinder”.


The burns come from an iron that was repeatedly pressed against the child's skin

The burns come from an iron that was repeatedly pressed against the child’s skinPhoto: UKE Hamburg


The welts were inflicted on the boy by hitting him with an extension cord

The welts were inflicted on the boy by hitting him with an extension cordPhoto: UKE Hamburg

The situation of the children has deteriorated significantly as a result of the pandemic, according to the doctors: “In the first lockdown, we initially examined fewer children. This was due to the fact that important social controls, which otherwise take place in schools or daycare centers, for example, were omitted and the work of youth welfare offices and independent providers was restricted. However, we now know that the number of children endangered by Corona has increased significantly.”

In their daily work they see violence of all kinds. Prof. Seifert: “Human imagination is not sufficient to imagine what grown-ups do to children. We see little patients put on the hot stove or bitten by their parents, cigarettes stubbed out on their bodies or boiling water poured over their hands. Hematomas from being hit with shoe soles, broomsticks, fly swatters or belt buckles.”

The clinic allows BILD am SONNTAG to print some photos of their cases anonymously and as an example. They want to warn and enlighten.


The boy's neck injuries were from strangulation

The boy’s neck injuries were from strangulationPhoto: UKE Hamburg


The girl was burned with the back of a hair dryer for wetting herself

The girl was burned with the back of a hair dryer for wetting herselfPhoto: UKE Hamburg

Her work is like a jigsaw puzzle, says the forensic doctor: “Parents invent the most unbelievable stories. And children also instinctively try to protect mom and dad. That makes our work so difficult.”

It is also not just physical violence that leaves traces. Prof. Seifert: “We see children who are far behind in their development because nobody is interested in them and they are parked in front of the television for hours. Emotional neglect is also cruel.”


Professor Dragana Seifert

Professor Dragana SeifertPhoto: Henning Scheffen

The desire to protect the children from further suffering drives Prof. Dr. Dragana Seifert and her team: “Every child has the right to a happy, healthy life!”


The BILD aid organization “A Heart for Children” supports children in need

The BILD aid organization “Ein Herz für Kinder” is committed to making life better for our little ones Photo: BILD

How you can help!

The BILD aid organization “Ein Herz für Kinder” supports children in emergency situations in Germany and around the world. Every cent counts!

If you would like to help, please donate to:

BILD helps eV A heart for children

IBAN: DE60 2007 0000 0067 6767 00

BIC: DEUTDEHH

Or donate online at www.ehfk.de or at www.paypal.me/einherzfuerkinder


Violence against children increased: The Corona victims that nobody talks about
Photo: BILD

Development Minister warns of global education crisis

Dramatic appeal from the Minister of Development: Svenja Schulze (53, SPD) is concerned about students around the world.

“The Covid 19 pandemic threatens to wipe out the educational successes of recent decades,” says Schulze to BILD am SONNTAG. “Schools are closed around the world and it is feared that many students will not be there when they reopen.”

The sad facts: For 1.6 billion children, classes were canceled during the pandemic, in some countries (e.g. Uganda) continuously to this day. 630 million children are completely excluded from education.

Tomorrow the minister will travel to Geneva to meet with the director of the international fund for education in emergencies (supports projects in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Bangladesh, among others). Germany has supported the fund with 119 million euros since 2017. Schulze now has a further 200 million euros in his luggage. This makes Germany the largest donor country. (toc)

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