The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 40 million children aged below 15 years fall victim to violence each year. The ensuing traumas vary according to the gravity of the violence and the child’s personal experience and can, in the long run, have medical and psychosocial consequences. Sexual violence is one of the most unsettling of children’s rights violations
Sexual violence has serious consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV/AIDS, and indirect consequences like alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual deviance, and difficulty in or refusal of sexual intercourse. Sexual violence can also cause fear, anxiety, depression as well as disorders relating to behaviour, sleep, feeding, and speech, and may even result in suicide, or suicide attempt.
‘‘All children have the right to be protected from violence inflicted on them by anyone in their lives – whether parents, teachers, friends, romantic partners or strangers. And all forms of violence experienced by children, regardless of the nature or severity of the act, are harmful. Beyond the unnecessary hurt and pain it causes, violence undermines children’s sense of self-worth and hinders their development. Yet violence against children is often rationalized as necessary or inevitable. It may be tacitly accepted due to the familiarity of perpetrators, or minimized as inconsequential. The memory or reporting of violence may be buried due to shame or fear of reprisal. Impunity of perpetrators and prolonged exposure may leave victims believing violence is normal. In such ways, violence is masked, making it difficult to prevent and end.”
According to this report by United Nations, In 38 low- and middle-income countries, close to 17 MILLION adult women report having experienced forced sex in childhood. In 28 countries in Europe, around 2.5 MILLION young women report experiences of contact and non-contact forms of sexual violence before age 15.
The UNICEF 2016 report also highlights that 33 per-cent of police and law enforcement commit violence against children in our society, while 28 per-cent are parents and caregivers.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains a bold and ambitious call to end violence against children, acknowledging its eradication as a key component of sustainable development.
However, this is not something that only one individual can do. It involves the whole community. It takes children’s voices, Governments, humanitarian workers, faith based organisations, donors, parents, guardians, community leaders, teachers, the media and all stakeholders to end violence against children. Ending violence against children is everyone’s responsibility.!!
I am doing my small part with Beyond Innocence Foundation (BIF), but I can never achieve this alone. My personal commitment to continuing to personally fund this project and see it through its completion, is something I will stand by. However, I also know that by doing so alone, it will take longer to complete the Safe House/Rescue center. While doing so, so many children will continue to suffer under the roofs or perpetrators.
As you settle down with your families this holiday season, I implore you to spare as little as 5 EUR/USD/GBP for us. Help us project this generation at risk. See more information here: Beyond Innocence Foundation (BIF)- Official Website