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Audrey Pereira, Amber Peterman, Anastasia Naomi Neijhoft, Alina Potts, Mary Catherine Maternowska
Violence against children is a pervasive public health issue, with limited data available across multiple contexts. This study explores the rarely studied prevalence and dynamics around disclosure, reporting and help-seeking behaviours of children who ever experienced physical and/or sexual violence.
Using nationally-representative Violence Against Children Surveys in six countries: Cambodia, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania, we present descriptive statistics for prevalence of four outcomes among children aged 13–17 years: informal disclosure, knowledge of where to seek formal help, formal disclosure/help seeking and receipt of formal help. We ran country-specific multivariate logistic regressions predicting outcomes on factors at the individual, household and community levels.
The prevalence of help-seeking behaviours ranged from 23 to 54% for informal disclosure, 16 to 28% for knowledge of where to seek formal help, under 1 to 25% for formal disclosure or help seeking, and 1 to 11% for receipt of formal help. Factors consistently correlated with promoting help-seeking behaviours included household number of adult females and absence of biological father, while those correlated with reduced help-seeking behaviours included being male and living in a female-headed household. Primary reasons for not seeking help varied by country, including self-blame, apathy and not needing or wanting services.
Across countries examined, help-seeking and receipt of formal services is low for children experiencing physical and/or sexual violence, with few consistent factors identified which facilitated help-seeking. Further understanding of help seeking, alongside improved data quality and availability will aid prevention responses, including the ability to assist child survivors in a timely manner.
N. van Gelder, Amber Peterman, Alina Potts
Alessandra Guedes, Amber Peterman
Karen Devries, Katherine G. Merrill, Louise Knight, Sarah Bott, Alessandra Guedes, Betzabe Butron-Riveros
Daniel Kardefelt Winther, Mary Catherine Maternowska
K. Devries, L. Knight, M Petzold, L. Maxwell, A. Williams, Claudia Cappa, E. Chan, C. Garcia-Moreno, H. Hollis, H. Kress, Amber Peterman, S.D. Walsh, A. Guedes, S. Kishor, S. Bott, B. Butron, C. Watts, N. Abrahams
Design We used random effects meta-regression to estimate prevalence. Estimates were adjusted for relevant quality covariates, variation in definitions of violence and weighted by region-specific, age-specific and sex-specific population data to ensure estimates reflect country population structures.
Data sources Secondary data from 600 population or school-based representative datasets and 43 publications obtained via systematic literature review, representing 13 830 estimates from 171 countries.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Estimates for recent violence against children aged 0–19 were included.
Results The most common perpetrators of physical and emotional violence for both boys and girls across a range of ages are household members, with prevalence often surpassing 50%, followed by student peers. Children reported experiencing more emotional than physical violence from both household members and students. The most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls aged 15–19 years are intimate partners; however, few data on other perpetrators of sexual violence against children are systematically collected internationally. Few age-specific and sex-specific data are available on violence perpetration by schoolteachers; however, existing data indicate high prevalence of physical violence from teachers towards students. Data from other authority figures, strangers, siblings and other adults are limited, as are data on neglect of children.
Conclusions Without further investment in data generation on violence exposure from multiple perpetrators for boys and girls of all ages, progress towards Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 16 may be slow. Despite data gaps, evidence shows violence from household members, peers in school and for girls, from intimate partners, should be prioritised for prevention.
Amber Peterman, Naomi Neijhoft, Sarah Cook, Tia Palermo
R. Kidman, Tia Palermo
Michael P. Dunne, Wan Yuen Choo, Bernadette Madrid, Ramya Subrahmanian, Lauren Rumble, Stephen Blight, Mary Catherine Maternowska
Up to the year 2000, there was very little scientific evidence in this region about the scale of child maltreatment, its effects on children, families, and society, and the resultant economic burden. Since then, many agencies large and small, government and nongovernment, and university-based researchers have worked independently with diverse groups of people to measure violence, neglect and other childhood adversities and to understand the harmful consequences.
While the accumulated evidence is mostly patchy and the methodological quality is variable, there is now enough data to compose an overall regional picture. Guided by the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific office in Bangkok, researchers completed several systematic reviews between 2012 to 2015 and that work has been complemented by reviews focused on China and Australia.