Violence Against Children is Everyone’s Business

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Violence against children is everyone’s business-law enforcement, health, justice, social welfare, and the private sector all need to work together to prevent and respond to violence.

BY AGNES MENANOPO

ENDING violence against children is not only the Governments’, NGOs, donor partners, and stakeholders business but it is everyone’s business; individually and corporately,” according to ‘Unseen and Unsafe: Underinvestment in Ending Violence Against Children in the Pacific and Timor-Leste’ report.

Ending violence depends on collaboration among many partners across sectors and across borders. Violence against children is everyone’s business-law enforcement, health, justice, social welfare, and the private sector all need to work together to prevent and respond to violence.

The comprehensive report highlighted that millions of children experience exceptionally high levels of physical, emotional, and sexual violence, as well as being neglected.

“What’s worse is that for the vast majority of children, this violence is occurring in a place where they should feel safest: their homes. This ongoing violence robs children of their sense of self-worth, hinders their development, and limits their ability to prosper and reach their full potential.

“Many children are exposed to violence live in isolation, loneliness and fear, with nowhere to feel safe and no one to turn to,” report stated

Country Director, Save the Children Solomon Islands, Vanessa Zulueta at the recent launching of the report said sadly, violence is still commonplace in the lives of children in the Solomon Islands, regionally and worldwide.

“Violence against children is particularly difficult to detect and combat, as victims are often too vulnerable to speak out.

“It is shocking to realize that such abuse is most often inflicted on children by those meant to be caring for them and that the majority takes place in the family home,” Zulueta said.

She said professionals in the area of justice, healthcare, education, and social services, in preventing, detecting and dealing with violence are playing an important role in fighting to end this problem.

She added that ending violence means stronger systems, institutions, and legal and policy frameworks.

“Ending violence means safe and confidential mechanisms for children to report violence in person, including online bullying and predation.

“It means sensitive law enforcement and justice systems to safeguard the rights of child victims and prevent abuse and exploitation from happening in the first place.

“It means physical and psychological support from the health and social service systems,” Zulueta said.