Take a moment to think back to your childhood. You might recall riding your bike through the safe streets of your neighbourhood. Or perhaps you'll remember playing hide and seek in a wide school playground. Sadly, many children around the world will never make these comforting memories and hide and seek can be a deadly game, played not for fun, but for their lives.
The threat of violence against children is very real. In fact, one child dies of violence every 5 minutes*, a sobering fact we can change with your help.
Violence against children can manifest in many ways, but the devastating effect it has on children is universally unforgiving.
In every country and every culture, there are children living in fear of violence and abuse. Sometimes violence is blatant and overt, such as a child fleeing war or conflict, sold or trafficked against their will, or forced into early marriage. At other times abuse against children is cloaked in secrecy and silence, happening at home, behind closed doors.
No matter it’s form, violence can devastate a child’s life. It shatters dreams, tears families apart and forces children to grow up far too quickly. The life of a child haunted by violence is a life with no childhood at all.
FACT: 1 billion children live in areas affected by armed conflict1
Hiding from violence in a conflict zone
Young girls forced into child marriage
The devastating impacts of child trafficking
Living in fear of emotional or physical abuse in the home
FACT: A girl under the age of 15 gets married every 7 seconds2
FACT: 1.2 million children are sold into prostitution, labour or military service every year3
FACT: 85 million children are being forced to work in dangerous conditions4
Disclaimer: If you are a child, or know a child that may be under threat of violence, emotional or physical abuse please call Kids Help Line on 1800 551 800 or visit www.theline.org.au to access a 24 hour telephone or online counselling service for young people aged between 5 and 18. You may also report a suspected child abuse scenario via 1800 688 009 or visit www.childabuseprevention.com.au.
1 Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF, Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review: Children and conflict in a changing world, New York, 2009, p. 4.
2 Save the Children, Stolen Childhoods, End of Childhood Report 2017, p. 14.
3 Every child counts: new global estimates on child labour, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, 2002, p25
4 Marking Progress Against Child Labour - Global Estimates and Trends 2000-2012, International Labour Organization, International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), Geneva, 2013
* Names changed to protect identity.