46% of children would not disclose an experience of violence – Save the Children report

46% of children would not disclose an experience of violence – Save the Children report

By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 14/05/2024
Photo:File

As violence against children remains a major concern, Save the Children research has found that 46 percent of children surveyed would not disclose an experience of violence.

The report titled ‘A Pacific Regional Child Protection Situational Analysis’ has found that 8 percent would not report at all while 38 percent are very likely not to report.

According to the report, there is some evidence that children have increased confidence in sharing experiences of violence, although barriers remain for adolescents who completed the online survey where 54 percent reported that children were likely or very likely to report violence against them.

It says although limited, the latest data shows increasing reports of child abuse and neglect and this may reflect an increased trust in and availability of reporting pathways, and/or an increase in prevalence.

According to the report, the strengths in the current child protection system are evident in some children seeking help from or reporting violence to parents, police, teachers, and social welfare.

It says these entities are recognised for their potential to offer legal assistance, support, counselling, prayer and advice; however, notable gaps in the formal and informal child protection systems include children’s hesitancy to seek help from certain individuals, such as strangers, some friends or teachers, siblings, or unsupportive step-parents, and a hesitancy to report sexual violence due to fear and cultural taboos.

This underscores the importance of fostering a trusting and supportive environment within formal and informal systems to encourage children to disclose their problems, and the need to tackle or address cultural taboos that enable the silence related to sexual violence.

It adds children’s voices are at the forefront of this analysis and they must continue to shape the solutions required to honour their rights and better protect them from violence that has a detrimental impact on their development and sense of safety in the world.

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