Child abuse: Children at risk

Around 6.3 million children migrate each year from the places where they reside to escape violence

Child abuse: Children at risk

Leer en español: Abuso infantil: La niñez en riesgo

Child abuse are actions that cause significant harm to a child. These abuses can occur in any social class, ethnic group or culture. This can endanger the physical and emotional stability of the child and there are a series of consequences that can occur in the short, medium and long term, leaving serious consequences or even death.

There are several types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse: when a child is deliberately wounded causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
  • Emotional abuse: sometimes it is called psychological abuse and can significantly damage the emotional health and normal development of a child, this includes intimidation, humiliation, rejection, insult etc.
  • Negligence: the deprivation of a child's basic requirements, such as food, adequate clothing, health care, supervision, love, it is clear that negligence must be differentiated from poverty.
  • Sexual abuse: A child is sexually abused when forced or persuaded to participate in sexual activities.

There are other types of abuse, however these are the most recurrent. An abused child may experience one or more types of abuse and the symptoms of these are not obvious in all situations, sometimes the victim thinks that no one can help or that they will not believe him, other times the child does not realize that he is being mistreated.

Children who have been abused may experience physical or emotional harm. The effects can occur in the short term however there are times when they can last until adulthood; If a person has been abused as a child, there is a high probability of suffering abuse again, this is known as revictimization.

According to a report presented by UNICEF in 2016 on the outlook for children in Latin America and the Caribbean, 196,000 children under the age of 5 die every year in the region, that is, a child dies every three minutes, the main cause of this are epidemics and malnutrition, in addition 14 million children and adolescents are outside the education system on the other hand, 25,000 infants and adolescents are killed every year, in fact, homicide is one of the five main causes of deaths in adolescents, around 6.3 million migrate each year from the places where they reside to escape the violence and poverty of their communities, two out of every three children under 15 suffer from physical abuse and 1.1 million girls between 15 and 19 years suffer from sexual abuse.

Despite these worrying figures, during the last decades the governments of the region have made efforts to reduce the rates of child abuse, these efforts translate IGNORE INTO a decrease in infant mortality in Cuba, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador. the countries of the region that have made important progress in this area, in addition to this, the creation of policies in favor of the protection of children constitute progress in the fight against child violence; however, there are still great challenges that governments they must face in order to counteract this scourge.


Latin American Post | Valeria Moral Rivera

Translated from "Abuso infantil: La niñez en riesgo"

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