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Statistics

23The following statistics are furnished by ICAP in an effort to assist our projects in addressing some of the pertinent issues regarding child abuse & neglect.
  • Worldwide, approximately 40 million children below the age of 15 are subjected to child abuse 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)crying
  • At least 106 countries do not prohibit the use of corporal punishment in schools, 147 countries 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 Assault Prevention- 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)
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  • Recent International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates indicate that, in 2004, 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 were involved in child labor, of whom 126 million were in hazardous work. Estimates from 2000 suggest that 5.7 million were in forced or bonded labour, 1.8 million in prostitution and pornography, and 1.2 million were victims of trafficking as sex workers, a modern form of slavery. (International Labour Office, 2006)
  • Each year, an estimated one million children all over the world are sold or “trafficked” internationally and across borders into illegal sex trade. (UNICEF Convention on the Rights of Children)
  • World Health Organization has estimated, through the use of limited country-level data, that almost 53,000 children died worldwide in 2002 as a result of homicide. (WHO, 2002)
  • The highest child homicide rates occur in adolescents, especially boys, aged 15-17 years and among children 0 to 4 years old. (Global Estimates of Health Consequences due to Violence against Children, WHO 2006)
  • Deaths are only the visible tip of the problem. Millions of children are victims of non-fatal abuse and neglect.  In some studies, between one-quarter and one-half of children report sever and frequent physical abuse, including being beaten, kicked or tied up by parents. (Global Estimates of Health Consequences due to Violence against Children, WHO 2006)2
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents around the world. (WHO, 2002)
  • Of the world’s 1.2 billion people living in poverty, more than 600 million are children. (UNICEF: The State of the World's Children, 2000)
  • Each day, 30,500 children under five years of age die of mainly preventable disease, and thousands more are ill because of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. (UNICEF: The State of the World's Children)
  • Each day, 8,500 children and young people around the world are infected with HIV. (UNICEF: The State of the World’s Children, 2000)
  • Studies reveal that some groups of children are especially vulnerable to violence.  Theses include children with disabilities, those from ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups, “street children” and those in conflict with the law, and refugee and other displaced children. (WHO, 2002)
  • The number of street children worldwide is almost impossible to know, although the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF estimate the number to be 100 million. The social phenomenon of street children is increasing as the world’s population grows. (Casa Alianza, Worldwide Statistics 2000)
    girl covering face
  • Between 133 and 275 million children worldwide are estimated to witness domestic violence annually. (UNICEF, 2006)  The exposure of children to violence in their homes on a frequent basis, usually through fights between parents or between a mother and her partner, can severely affect a child’s well-being, personal development and social interaction in childhood and adulthood. (Violence and Victims, 2002)  Intimate partner violence also increases the risk of violence against children in the family, with studies from China, Colombia, Egypt, Mexico, the Philippines and South Africa showing a strong relationship between violence against women with violence against children. (WHO, 2002) A study from India found that domestic violence in the home doubled the risk of violence against children. (Journal of Pediatric Psychology I, 2000)
  • Reporting on a wide range of developing countries, the Global School-based Health Survey recently found that between 20 and 65 % of school-aged children reported having been verbally or physically bullied in the past 30 days. Bullying is also frequent in industrialized countries. (Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study 2004)

©1995 by the International Center for Assault Prevention.



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