One girl in 10 from around the world has been raped or sexually assaulted by the time she is 20.
This amounts to 120 million girls worldwide. These horrifying facts come from a new UN report on violence against children, Hidden in plain sight.
It also reported that 95,000 children and teenagers were murdered in 2012 alone and six out of 10 children aged between 2-14 are physically punished by their parents or carers.
In many countries violence against children and young women is socially accepted or tacitly condoned. In the countries surveyed nearly half of all girls aged 15-19 believed that a husband was justified in hitting his wife under certain circumstances.
As with the Rotherham scandal, reported in Solidarity 335, violence is disproportionately suffered by poor, vulnerable and working-class children. Often authorities understand or care little about these children.
The report categorically condemns physical punishment of children by their parents or carers. Research in the report further emphasises that violence is “detrimental to all aspects of a child’s growth... with sometimes lifelong repercussions.”
Children have a right to grow up without being subjected to violence of any sort.