NEW YORK, 4 September 2014 – The largest-ever compilation of data on violence against children shows the staggering extent of physical, sexual and emotional abuse — and reveals the attitudes that perpetuate and justify violence, keeping it ‘hidden in plain sight’ in every country and community in the world.
“These are uncomfortable facts — no government or parent will want to see them,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But unless we confront the reality each infuriating statistic represents — the life of a child whose right to a safe, protected childhood has been violated — we will never change the mind-set that violence against children is normal and permissible. It is neither. “
The UNICEF report Hidden in Plain Sight draws on data from 190 countries, documenting violence in places where children should be safe: their communities, schools and homes. It details the lasting, often inter-generational effects of violence, finding that exposed children are more likely to become unemployed, live in poverty and be violent towards others. The authors note that the data is derived only from individuals who were able and willing to respond, and therefore represent minimum estimates.