RCASA Friday Facts: Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics Part 1

In Friday Facts, Sexual Assault Awareness on April 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. Below aresome startling statistics related to child abuse both in the United States and worldwide.

  • Worldwide, approximately 40 million children below the age of 15 are subjected to childabuse each year. (World Health Organization (WHO) 2001)
  • Studies from many countries in all regions of the world suggest that up to 80 to 98 % of children suffer physical punishment in their homes, with a third or more experiencing severe punishment resulting from the use of implements. (World Health Organization WHO  2001)
  • Physical violence is often accompanied by psychological violence. Insults, name-calling, isolation, rejection, threats, emotional indifference and belittling are all forms of violence that can be detrimental to a child’s well-being; especially when it comes from a respected adult such as a parent. (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2005)
  • At least 106 countries do not prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools, 147countries do not prohibit it within alternative care settings, and as yet only 16 countries have prohibited its use in the home. (Global Summary of the Legal Status of Corporal Punishment of Children, 2006)
  • There are non-physical forms of punishment which are cruel and degrading and these include punishment that belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares or ridicules the child. (Committee on the Rights of the Child 2006)
  • Emotional abuse may be more devastating than physical abuse. A child’s physical cuts and bruises usually heal quickly. But the emotional cuts and bruises take a long time to heal. Emotional abuse is very difficult for the victim to recognize. If it is occurring on a day-to-day basis, you may see it as a normal behavior. (International Center for AssaultPrevention- TEEN CAP Manual)
  • Sexual abuse statistics vary between countries and reports, but are consistently alarming:Research indicates that up to 36% of girls and 29% of boys have suffered child sexual abuse; up to 46% girls and 20% boys have experienced sexual coercion.(The 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights)
  • World Health Organization estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence during 2002.(WHO, 2004)
  • The occurrence of sexual violence in the home is increasingly acknowledged. An overview of studies in 21 countries found that 7-36 % of women and 3-29 % of men reported sexual victimization during childhood. Most of the abuse occurred within the family circle. (Child Abuse & Neglect, 2005)
  • Similarly, a multi-country study by WHO, including both developed and developing countries, showed that between 1 and 21 % of women reported to have been sexually abused before the age of 15, in most cases by male family members other than the father or stepfather. (WHO, 2005)
  • According to a WHO estimate, between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world have undergone some form of female genital mutilation/cutting. (UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2005)
  • Recent International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates show that, in 2004, 250million children between the ages of 5 and 14 were involved in child labor, of whom 126million were in hazardous work. Estimates from 2000 suggest that 5.7 million were in forced or bonded labor, 1.8 million in prostitution and pornography, and 1.2 million werevictims of trafficking as sex workers, a modern form of slavery. (International Labour Office, 2006)
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