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Author Topic: World Health Organization Seek to Reduce Violence Against Kids  (Read 150 times)

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The World Health Organization and nine other organizations Tuesday launched a package of measures that they said could dramatically reduce violence against children.

A new partnership and fund will promote these strategies in an effort to make reducing violence a public priority and a collective responsibility. Through the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, governments, foundations, civil society groups, academia and the private sector can pool resources and expertise to make progress toward these goals.

The WHO, citing statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said as many as 1 billion children around the world had experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence in the past year.

According to other research quoted by the CDC, it's estimated that one in four children worldwide suffers physical abuse, and nearly one in five girls and one in 13 men and boys are victims of sexual abuse.

Alexander Butchart, WHO coordinator for the prevention of violence, said the consequences of this kind of violence are vast but unappreciated. 

“What we get to see is the tip of the iceberg, in the shape of death,” he said.

For instance, he noted that homicide was among the top five causes of death in adolescents and ranked as No. 1 or No. 2 in some regions or countries.

In addition, he said, violence against children can cause brain and internal injuries, burns and lacerations “in hundreds of millions of cases.”

Butchart said “violence against kids often can lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety. It also can lead to alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and unsafe sex.“ 

These dangerous behaviors, he said, “put children at much greater risk later of developing stroke, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, et cetera.”

Christopher Mikton, WHO technical officer for prevention of violence, said many studies have documented the serious, long-term health consequences of violence against children.


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