Every five minutes a child dies as the result of violence, according to a ground-breaking report from Unicef UK.
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The report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities. Some 345 children could die from violence each day in the next year, unless governments act.
The report also finds that:
- Children who are victims of violence have brain activity similar to soldiers exposed to combat.
- A third of children who are victims of violence are likely to develop long-lasting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Those living in poverty are more likely to be victims of violence, wherever they live in the world.
- Over 75% of child deaths due to violence each day are the result of interpersonal violence, rather than conflict.
In the foreword to the report, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, a long term campaigner for justice in the UK, writes:
"This epidemic of violence against children feeds off silence. It grows when we soundlessly accept that this is just the way things are. Every five minutes, somewhere across the globe, a family loses a son or daughter to violence. This is intolerable – it must stop."
Governments are currently negotiating a new set of global development targets, as the current Millennium Development Goals will expire in 2015. Unicef UK is calling for these new goals to include a target to end violence against children everywhere.