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Friday, 11 September 2015

Survey reveals over 60 percent of Nigerian children are abused before 18

A population-based study from the Nigerian Violence Against Children (VAC) survey, have shown that more than six out of every 10 Nigerian children under the age of 18 experience some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence.

The population-based study reportedly carried out by the National Population Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, was released on Thursday in Abuja and it shows that physical violence in childhood is the most common type of abuse reported.
The study however, provides the first national representative data on the prevalence of violence among female and male children in Nigeria and is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region.
The survey also aimed at identifying parents and adults’ relatives as the most common perpetrators of the first incident of physical violence in childhood followed by an adult in the neighbourhood, a peer and an intimate partner.
According to the survey report, childhood violence has a long-term impact that lasts well into adulthood, including poorer mental and physical health outcomes.
Checks by the survey also reveal that one in two children experience physical violence, one in four girls and one in 10 boys experience sexual violence while one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence, noting also that persons who experience physical and sexual violence in childhood are more likely to perpetuate intimate partnership.
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission and VAC Goodwill Ambassador, Professor Chidi Odin-Kalu, said violence against children was a public health disorder, adding that the time to take action is now.
The Federal Commissioner, Board of the National Population Commission, Dr Gunde Lakoju, said, “The survey clearly shows that violence against children is not confined to marginalized groups.
“It impacts rich and poor, urban and rural, educated and out-of-school children. It surpasses social and economic status,” Lakoju stated.
The representative, UNICEF Country, Jean Gough, said, “UNICEF will continue to support Nigeria in its efforts to ensure that all children can grow up free from sexual, physical and emotional violence.
“The government of Nigeria is to be commended on the launch of the VAC survey and for its commitment to put an end to it,” Gough added.

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