The NY Times reports:
DURING the Great Recession, child abuse and neglect appeared to decline. Incidents reported to local authorities dropped. “The doom-and-gloom predictions haven’t come true,” Richard Gelles, a child-welfare expert at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Associated Press in 2011.No, this is nonsense. The above chart is the Google Trends chart for "child abuse". As you can see, it is going down, not up. Not that I think Google Trends is a reliable measure, but it shows a bogus scare story.
The real story about child maltreatment during the recession is a grim one. I spent months studying this topic, using a number of different data sources, including Google search queries. I found that the Great Recession caused a significant increase in child abuse and neglect.