Though children are at a lower risk for contracting coronavirus than the general population, Angelina Jolie is urging people to keep their well-being in mind.
In an essay for Time published Thursday, the mother of six address how social distancing practices and the economic repercussions of the pandemic could create negative environments for children.
Jolie addressed that more than 100 women worldwide are killed in domestic violence situations every day, and often times children are witnesses to it.
"Isolating a victim from family and friends is a well-known tactic of control by abusers, meaning that the social distancing that is necessary to stop COVID-19 is one that will inadvertently fuel a direct rise in trauma and suffering for vulnerable children," Jolie wrote. "There are already reports of a surge in domestic violence around the world, including violent killings."
She noted this comes at a time when children don't have their support systems to help – schools are shut down, they can't see friends and don't have a safe haven for escape. Jolie added that millions of children rely on schools as a "reprieve from violence, exploitation and other difficult circumstances, including sexual exploitation, forced marriage and child labor and domestic violence."
As of Thursday, the United States has surpassed 15,000 deaths from the coronavirus as cases continue to increase, while more than 24,000 people have recovered nationwide.
As the outbreak continues to spread, many states have invoked shelter in place orders and social distancing regulations to help curb coronavirus.
Jolie urged people to reach out to family and friends who might be in vulnerable situations and educate themselves on the signs of domestic violence.
"Even though we are physically separated from each other under lockdown, we can make a point of calling family or friends, particularly where we might have concerns that someone is vulnerable. We can educate ourselves to the signs of stress and domestic violence and know what to look out for and how seriously to take it. We can support our local domestic violence shelters," she wrote.
She concluded: "It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an effort by the whole of our country to give children the protection and care they deserve."
Last month, Jolie donated $1 million to No Kid Hungry, an organization that provides meals to children in low-income families.
"Many children depend on the care and nutrition they receive during school hours, including nearly 22 million children in America who rely on food support,” she said in a statement.
Jolie and ex-husband Brad Pitt share custody of kids Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13 and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox, and she has been a longtime advocate for women and children.
Last month, on International Women's Day, the actress revealed two of her daughters had surgery and seeing them care for each other reminded her how women's intrinsic nurturing character can often be abused.
"Someone said to me, when they saw my daughters caring for each other, that 'it comes naturally to girls.' I smiled, but then I thought of how often that notion is abused," Jolie wrote in a previous essay for Time. "The little girl is expected to take care of others. The woman she grows up to be will be expected to give, and care for, and sacrifice. Girls are often conditioned to think that they are good only when they serve others, and selfish or wrong if ever they focus on their own needs and desires."