“Without the threat of violence, girls and boys are free to develop their talents and skills to their full potential and shape their future. The potential for positive change is enormous, but for now, violence remains a pervasive phenomenon that blights the life of millions of children, haunts entire communities and stifles the prospects for sustainable development and social progress.”United Nations, 2013
It’s something we don’t often talk about undoubtedly because it’s something most of us don’t want to hear about. I would venture to guess that child violence is something we don’t want to believe is taking place because it’s too horrible, too “low”, too… wrong.
Yet, statistics show that a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
“Violence manifests itself in many forms: neglect, physical and emotional violence, sexual abuse, rape, trafficking, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced and child marriage, acid attacks, killings in the name of honour, forced begging, bonded labour and so many others. Such violence also has serious and long-lasting consequences. It compromises child development and increases the risk of poor health, poor school performance and long-term welfare dependency. It is often associated with poverty and deprivation, and acts as a brake on the potential of individuals and nations.”United Nations, 2013
Often this abuse takes place in a setting where a child feels “safe” and for various reasons, most victims do not know where to turn to for help.
But perhaps one of the most encouraging sentences in the UN’s entire report, are these six words, “violence against children is not inevitable.” Over the next few months we will be highlighting more information, including the impact that child violence has on its victims, prevention and other statistics on this subject.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
United Nations. (2013). Toward A World Free From Violence: Gloal Survey on Violence Against Children. NY: United Nations Publications.