The right of children to protection from violence is clearly stated in the Convention of the Rights of the Child, yet over 1 billion children still experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year. It happens everywhere; in schools, outside, and even at home. Children’s welfare becomes at risk as they live in loneliness, isolation, and vulnerability.
Many non-profit and charity organizations dedicate time and money to help stop this, but we can only start cutting its roots when we are aware of the whole problem. There are many types of violence against children, including maltreatment, bullying, sexual violence, emotional abuse, and more.
Violence against children has lifelong impacts on their health and well-being. Violence against children can, in the worst scenario, result in death. Homicide is among the top 3 causes of death in adolescence, with boys comprising over 80% of victims and perps. Violence can also result in negative coping and health risk behaviors and impact their opportunities and future generations. Children exposed to violence are more likely to drop out of school and have difficulty finding and keeping a job, which fosters the violent cycle even more.
It will never be too late, though. There is still hope for children, as many organizations and private sectors, as their CSR, provide help to alleviate these children’s suffering and prevent this from happening. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed and endorsed evidence-based strategies called INSPIRE to end violence against children. The seven strategies are:
Implementation and enforcement of laws (for example, banning violent discipline and restricting access to alcohol and firearms);
Norms and values change (for example, altering norms that condone the sexual abuse of girls or aggressive behavior among boys);
Safe environments (such as identifying neighborhood “hot spots” for violence and then addressing the local causes through problem-oriented policing and other interventions);
Parental and caregiver support (for example, providing parent training to young, first-time parents);
Income and economic strengthening (such as microfinance and gender equity training);
Response services provision (for example, ensuring that children who are exposed to violence can access effective emergency care and receive appropriate psychosocial support); and
Education and life skills (such as ensuring that children attend school, and providing life and social skills training).
Brighter Communities also dreams of a world where violence against children ceases to exist, which is why our main objective is to lead children out of a destructive path through tech for good. We aim to protect children’s rights through empowerment, by providing a better way to live their lives and break the cycle of violence. It’s a long and winding road, but we will get there soon than later.