The UNICEF report Hidden in Plain Sight, which draws on the largest-ever compilation of data on violence against children, reveals the disturbing prevalence of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of children around the globe.
According to the report the effects of violence on children are often lasting and have inter-generational repercussions. Findings reveal that exposed children are more likely to become unemployed, live in poverty, and be violent towards others. The authors of the report note that the data is derived only from individuals who were able and willing to respond, and therefore represent minimum estimates.
Here are seven figures you should know from the latest report:
1. Around 120 million girls under the age of 20 worldwide (about 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts, and one in 3 ever-married adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 (84 million) have been victims of emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands or partners.
2. One fifth of homicide victims globally are children and adolescents under the age of 20, resulting in about 95,000 deaths in 2012.
3. Homicide is the leading cause of death among males between 10 and 19 years old in Panama, Venezuela, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Guatemala and Colombia. Nigeria has the highest number of child homicides – 13,000. Among countries in Western Europe and North America, the United States has the highest homicide rate.
4. Slightly more than 1 in 3 students between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide are regularly bullied in school; in Samoa, the proportion is almost 3 in 4. Almost a third of students 11 to 15 years old in Europe and North America report bullying others – in Latvia and Romania, nearly 6 in 10 admit to bullying others.
5. Close to half of all adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 (around 126 million) believe a husband is justified in hitting his wife under certain circumstances. The proportion rises to 80 per cent or more in Afghanistan, Guinea, Jordan, Mali and Timor-Leste.
6. In 28 of 60 countries with data on both sexes, a larger proportion of girls than boys believe that wife-beating is sometimes justified. In Cambodia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Rwanda and Senegal, girls are around twice as likely as boys to think a husband is sometimes justified in hitting his wife.
7. Data from 30 countries suggest that about seven in 10 girls 15-19 years old who had been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse had never sought help: many said they did not think it was abuse or did not see it as a problem.
Healing Our World gently and provocatively challenges us to recognize the coercive nature of the government intervention we often consider inevitable and even desirable.