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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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The Co-Occurrence of Intimate Partner Violence and Violence Against Children: A Systematic Review on Associated Factors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Franziska Meinck, Isabelle Pearson, Floriza Gennari, Sabrina Page, Alessandra Guedes, Cathy Zimmerman, Heidi Stockl

Published: 2022

Violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) are public health issues of global concern. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a commonly occurring form of VAW and there is evidence to suggest that IPV and VAC frequently co-occur within the same families. This systematic literature review searched for studies published in any language between 1st January 2000 to 16th February 2021 and identified 33 studies that provided findings for co-occurring IPV and VAC in 24 low- and middleincome countries (PROSPERO: CRD42020180179). These studies were split into subgroups based on the types of cooccurring violence they present and meta-analyses were conducted to calculate pooled odds ratios (ORs) within these subgroups. Our results indicate a significant association between IPV and VAC, with all pooled ORs showing a significant positive association between the two. Almost half of the studies focused exclusively on co-occurrence between male-to-female IPV and female caregiver-to-child VAC; few authors reported on male caregiver-to-child violence. Only three studies identified risk factors for co-occurring IPV and VAC, and those that did suggested conflicting findings on the risks associated with maternal age, alcohol and drug use, and parental education level. We also found incongruity in the violence definitions and measurements used across studies. Future research should aim to develop more consistent definitions and measurements for co-occurrence and move beyond solely examining dyadic and unidirectional violence occurrence in families; this will allow us to better understand the interrelationships between these different forms of abuse.

Co-occurring violent discipline of children and intimate partner violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic search and secondary analysis of national datasets

Sarah Bott, Ana P Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza, Alessandra Guedes

Published: 2021

This study aimed to determine how many Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries had national data on co-occurring IPV and violent discipline in the same household, how estimates compared and whether violent discipline was significantly associated with IPV. Nine countries had eligible datasets. Co-occurring physical punishment with past year IPV ranged from 1.7% (Nicaragua) to 17.5% (Bolivia); and with IPV ever from 6.0% (Nicaragua) to 21.2% (Haiti). In almost all countries, children in IPV affected households experienced significantly higher levels and ORs of physical punishment and verbal aggression, whether IPV occurred during or before the past year. Significant adjusted ORs of physical punishment ranged from 1.52 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.10) in Jamaica to 3.63 (95% CI 3.26 to 4.05) in Mexico for past year IPV; and from 1.50 (95% CI 1.23 to 1.83) in Nicaragua to 2.52 (95% CI 2.30 to 2.77) in Mexico for IPV before past year. IPV is a significant risk factor for violent discipline, but few national surveys in LAC measure both. Co-occurrence merits greater attention from policymakers and researchers.

Violence against children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amber Peterman, Amiya Bhatia, Alessandra Guedes, Camilla Fabbri, Ilan Cerna-Turoff, Ellen Turner, Michelle Lokot, Ajwang Warria, Sumnima Tuladhar, Clare Tanton, Louise Knight, Shelley Lees, Beniamino Cislaghi, Jaqueline Bhabha, Karen Devries

Published: 2021
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected children’s risk of violence in their homes, communities and online, and has compromised the ability of child protection systems to promptly detect and respond to cases of violence. However, the need to strengthen violence prevention and response services has received insufficient attention in national and global pandemic response and mitigation strategies. In this paper, we summarize the growing body of evidence on the links between the pandemic and violence against children. Drawing on the World Health Organization’s INSPIRE framework to end violence against children, we illustrate how the pandemic is affecting prevention and response efforts. For each of the seven INSPIRE strategies we identify how responses to the pandemic have changed children’s risk of violence. We offer ideas for how governments, policy-makers, and international and civil society organizations can address violence in the context of a protracted COVID-19 crisis. We conclude by highlighting how the current pandemic offers opportunities to improve existing child protection systems to address violence against children. We suggest enhanced multisectoral coordination across the health, education, law enforcement, housing, child and social protection sectors. Actions need to prioritize the primary prevention of violence and promote the central role of children and adolescents in decision-making and programme design processes. Finally, we stress the continued need for better data and evidence to inform violence prevention and response strategies that can be effective during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 730–738 | Tags: violence against children, COVID-19
Modelling the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violent Discipline Against Children

Camilla Fabbri, Dr Amiya Bhatia, Alessandra Guedes, Max Petzold, Claudia Cappa, Munkhbadar Jugder, Karen Devries

Published: 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic could increase violence against children at home. However, collecting empirical data on violence is challenging due to ethical, safety, and data quality concerns. This study estimated the anticipated effect of COVID-19 on violent discipline at home using multivariable predictive regression models.

Children aged 1–14 years and household members from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) conducted in Nigeria, Mongolia, and Suriname before the COVID-19 pandemic were included.

A conceptual model of how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect risk factors for violent discipline was developed. Country specific multivariable linear models were used to estimate the association between selected variables from MICS and a violent discipline score which captured the average combination of violent disciplinary methods used in the home. A review of the literature informed the development of quantitative assumptions about how COVID-19 would impact the selected variables under a “high restrictions” pandemic scenario, approximating conditions expected during a period of intense response measures, and a “lower restrictions” scenario with easing of COVID-19 restrictions but with sustained economic impacts. These assumptions were used to estimate changes in violent discipline scores.

Under a “high restrictions” scenario there would be a 35%–46% increase in violent discipline scores in Nigeria, Mongolia and Suriname, and under a “lower restrictions” scenario there would be between a 4%–6% increase in violent discipline scores in these countries.

Policy makers need to plan for increases in violent discipline during successive waves of lockdowns.
Intimate partner violence in the Americas: a systematic review and reanalysis of national prevalence estimates

Sarah Bott, Alessandra Guedes, Ana P. Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza

Published: 2021

Objetivo. Describir lo que se sabe acerca de la prevalencia nacional de la violencia por parte de la pareja íntima (VPI) contra las mujeres en las Américas, en los diversos países y en el transcurso del tiempo, incluida la cobertura geográfica, calidad y comparabilidad de los datos nacionales. 

Métodos. Se realizó una revisión sistemática y reanálisis de las estimativas nacionales de la VPI basadas en la población de 1998 a 2017 en las Américas. Las cifras se reanalizaron para comparabilidad o se extrajeron de los informes, incluida la prevalencia por tipo (física; sexual; o física y/o sexual), marco temporal (alguna vez;
durante el último año) y perpetrador (cualquiera pareja en la vida; pareja actual/más reciente). En los países con tres (3+) rondas de datos, se aplicaron las pruebas de Cochran-Armitage y de ji cuadrada de Pearson para evaluar si los cambios en el transcurso del tiempo fueron significativos (p < 0,05).

Resultados. Se encontraron encuestas elegibles en 24 países. Las mujeres reportaron haber sufrido alguna vez violencia física y/o sexual por parte de la pareja íntima con tasas que variaron desde el 14% a 17% en Brasil, Panamá y Uruguay hasta más de la mitad (58,5%) en Bolivia. La prevalencia de violencia física y/o sexual por parte de la pareja íntima durante el último año varió desde 1,1% en el Canadá hasta 27,1% en Bolivia. La evidencia preliminar sugiere una posible disminución en la prevalencia reportada para ciertos tipos de VPI en ocho países; sin embargo, algunos cambios fueron pequeños, ciertos indicadores no se modificaron significativamente y se observaron incrementos significativos en la prevalencia reportada de violencia física por parte de la pareja íntima durante el último año en la República Dominicana.

Conclusiones. La VPI contra las mujeres sigue siendo un problema de salud pública y de derechos humanos en las Américas; sin embargo, la base de evidencia al respecto tiene deficiencias, lo que apunta a la necesidad de datos de mejor calidad y más comparables, a fin de movilizar y monitorear a la prevención y la
respuesta ante la violencia.

Disclosure, reporting and help seeking among child survivors of violence: a cross-country analysis

Audrey Pereira, Amber Peterman, Anastasia Naomi Neijhoft, Alina Potts, Mary Catherine Maternowska

Published: 2020

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.

COVID-19: Reducing the risk of infection might increase the risk of intimate partner violence

N. van Gelder, Amber Peterman, Alina Potts

Published: 2020
The ongoing pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of the acute respiratory distress syndrome COVID-19, is placing unprecedented stress on healthcare systems and societies as a whole. The rapid spread of the virus in the absence of targeted therapies or a vaccine, is forcing countries to respond with strong preventative measures ranging from mitigation to containment. In extreme cases, quarantines are being imposed, limiting mobility to varying degrees.
While quarantines are an effective measure of infection control, they can lead to significant social, economic and psychological consequences. Social distancing fosters isolation; exposes personal and collective vulnerabilities while limiting accessible and familiar support options. The inability to work has immediate economic repercussions and deprives many individuals of essential livelihoods and health care benefits. Psychological consequences may range from stress, frustration and anger to severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A recent review drawing on lessons from past pandemics shows the length of quarantine increases the risk for serious psychological consequences.

Modelling the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Violent Discipline Against Children

Alessandra Guedes

Published: 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic could increase violence against children at home. However, collecting empirical data on violence is challenging due to ethical, safety, and data quality concerns. This study estimated the anticipated effect of COVID-19 on violent discipline at home using multivariable predictive regression models. Under a “high restrictions” scenario there would be a 35% to 46% increase in violent discipline scores in Nigeria, Mongolia and Suriname, and under a “lower restrictions” scenario there would be between a 4% to 6% increase in violent discipline scores in these countries. Policy makers need to plan for increases in violent discipline during successive waves of lockdowns.
COVID-19 response measures and violence against children
Published: 2020
In the early stages of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, children were described as invisible carriers who posed a risk of infection to others. Here we outline how responses to COVID-19 may increase children’s exposure to violence and neglect. We also highlight ongoing efforts to address violence against children and argue for continued action and research on violence prevention within the COVID-19 response.
Addressing violence against children online and offline

Daniel Kardefelt Winther, Mary Catherine Maternowska

Published: 2019
This paper calls for actors working to end violence against children to situate online violence within the broader violence against children agenda. This requires a common conceptual framework that addresses violence in all areas of children’s lives, improved data collection efforts and integrated implementation guidance for prevention.
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