kids exposed to violence at home; an international issue

By: Mumtaz Ahmad Khemtio

Though laws have been devised to save children from violence at home yet the recent study says that nearly four of 10 kids exposed to domestic violence.

Surveys and studies  show that the number is growing  over the previous year

“Children are the most victimised segment of the population,” said study leader David Finkelhor of the Crimes Against Children Research Centre at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

“The full burden of this tends to be missed because many national crime indicators either do not include the experience of all children or don’t look at the big picture and include all the kinds of violence to which children are exposed,” Finkelhor told reporters by email.

Compared to 2011, the violence rates appear to be stable and certain kinds of violence exposure may be decreasing, he said.

While the rates are not going up, “the problem is that there is still way too much,” he said.

The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence includes phone interviews with contacts at a representative sample of US numbers in 2013 and 2014. Overall, researchers collected information on 4,000 kids age 17 and younger.

If the child was between age 10 and 17, he or she was interviewed over the phone. An adult caregiver answered questions for younger children.

The interviewers asked about conventional crime, child maltreatment, peer and sibling abuse, sexual assault, indirect exposure to violence and witnessing violence to others, and Internet violence. If the child had been exposed to any of these events over the previous year, the interviewers also asked about who committed the violence, weapons and injuries.

About 37 percent of kids had been physically assaulted over the previous year and almost 10 percent were injured as a result, the researchers found. Two percent of girls had been sexually assaulted or abused, including more than 4 percent of girls age 14 to 17.

About 15 percent had experienced maltreatment by a caregiver. Almost 6 percent had witnessed violence between their parents.

These numbers are similar to what’s been found in previous studies in the US and elsewhere, Dr Andreas Jud of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland told Reuters Health by email. Jud was not part of the new study.