Unicef report on violence against children

The Unicef report 'A familiar face' (November 2017) reveals alarming numbers on violence agains children.

Some of the key facts, reported by the United Nations Children's Fund are:

  • Close to 300 million (3 in 4) children aged 2 to 4 worldwide experience violent discipline by their caregivers on a regular basis; 250 million (around 6 in 10) are punished by physical means.
  • Worldwide, 1 in 4 (176 million) children under age 5 live with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence.
  • Worldwide, close to 130 million (slightly more than 1 in 3) students between the ages of 13 and 15 experience bullying. 732 million (1 in 2) school-age children between 6 and 17 years live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited.

These are some of the recent key facts, reported by Unicef, the United Nations Children Fund. The Unicef statistics reveal that children experience violence across all stages of childhood, in diverse settings, and often at the hands of the trusted individuals with whom they interact on a daily basis. The violence takes place in everyday places and is done by familiar faces.

Brain development
In its report, Unicef cites from Shonkoff et al., ‘The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress’: "Scientists have long understood that the vital neural pathways formed during the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to age 2, shape the rapidly developing brain. It is well established that these connections require adequate nutrition and stimulation. But recent research reveals that a third element – protection from violence – is essential as well. Exposure to traumatic experiences can produce toxic stress – defined as prolonged, strong or frequent adversity in which the body’s stress-response system remains activated. This can alter the structure and functioning of the brain during the formative early years."

View or download the full report.
Read more about child abuse and about bullying.