World Bulletin/News Desk
One out five girls and one out ten boys are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18, but only one of three cases is taken to court, according to the “International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.”
Child abuse is a worldwide phenomenon and a disturbing problem about which authorities have kept silent for years.
Nowadays, civil society organizations and governments play a very important and active role in the promotion of respect of children.
In 2000, the “Women’s World Summit Foundation - women and children first” launched the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, honored every year on November 19.
In Greece alone there have been 629 complaints of serious cases of child abuse from the beginning of 2014 through October, according to the non-profit voluntary organization “The Smile of the Child.”
Most of the time, the perpetrators are the parents themselves, the organization said.
As the economic crisis has stricken Greek families, it has had serious consequences for the welfare of children and their access to essential goods and services.
“The economic crisis plays an important role in abuse cases,” Panagiotis Pardalis, press officer at the non-profit organization “The Smile of the Child,” told Anadolu Agency.
In fact, the crisis has worsened the problem, he insisted.
Child abuse has many forms, Pardalis said, but the four basic types that have been recorded are: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect.
Out of the 629 complaints of child abuse that were recorded by the organization through its helpline, 98.5 percent were anonymous and only 1.5 percent gave names.
In 45 percent of these cases, the children were younger than six years old, and in 91 percent of the cases, the children needed immediate removal from their families.
Out of this 91 percent, 17 children, or 11 percent of them, are now living in houses belonging to the organization.
Sadly, the lack of hosting facilities leads to the “abandonment” of these children in children’s hospitals for weeks, months, even years, in some cases, if no solution is found.
The lack of hosting for these children thus creates another challenge for society.
However, the data above refer to the numerical depiction of incidents handled by the organization and does not depict the actual dimension of child abuse cases in Greece.
Pardalis stressed out that the child abuse cases are much more, but fear and emotional stress or indifference many times prevents people from reporting cases of abuse.
The Smile of the Child’s main concern is “defending children's rights, by providing services to children on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year basis, working for their physical, mental, and psychological stability.”
For that reason the organization has created a 24/7 helpline in order to help and protect children’s rights.
In cooperation with 130 organizations from around the world, The Smile of the Child is campaigning in order to inform, and mobilize people and society against the child abuse phenomenon.
Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2014, 11:17