A Familiar Face
Violence in the Lives of Children and Adolescents
This report uses the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence:
- violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood;
- violence at school;
- violent deaths among adolescents; and
- sexual violence in childhood and adolescence.
The 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. Ensuring that violence in all its forms is documented through solid data is a first step towards its eliminating it. Given the general lack of uniformity in the way data on violence against children are collected and the distorting impact that such discrepancies have on prevalence levels, this report relies mainly on information gathered through internationally comparable sources. These include the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) supported by UNICEF, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) supported by the United States Agency for International Development, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) studies and the Global School-based Student Health Surveys (GSHS) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with other United Nations agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With the exception of the HBSC, these international survey programmes have been implemented primarily in low- and middle-income countries. So while the focus of this report is largely on these countries, it should in no way be interpreted to suggest that violence against children is not found in high-income nations, or that no data are available since data may have been collected using methods and tools that are largely inconsistent with prevailing approaches.