World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse
Thursday 19 November 2009
Thursday 19th November is the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. This day, launched each year by the Women’s World Summit Foundation, a coalition of over 1000 organisations from 135 countries, is intended to alert governments and civil society to play a more active role in the promotion of children’s rights and contribute to the prevention of child abuse.
CHILDREN 1ST joins in this campaign by calling for increased awareness of children who suffer from abuse in Scotland, and for urgent action to be taken to address the lack of abuse recovery services that child victims so desperately need.
1.1. Children have the right to be safe. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 19 and 34, gives governments the responsibility to take all appropriate steps to keep children safe from any form of harm, including from sexual and physical abuse, neglect, and exploitation. But children are still being harmed.
1.2. While the Scottish Government’s Child Protection Reform Programme has led to some child protection improvements, more is required. Momentum for improvement must be maintained, the necessary resources must be made available, and the programme must stay focused on practical change that works.
1.3. All forms of abuse have a harmful effect on children and young people. Long into adulthood, victims of child abuse can suffer from mental ill health, difficulties forming trusting relationships, loneliness and alienation. Child abuse victims also often have low levels of educational attainment and suffer from drug and alcohol dependency.
1.4. The effects of child abuse do not need to be lifelong, but children and their families require sympathetic, skilled support if they are not to take this pain with them into adult life. Abuse recovery services provide the skilled support that a young person and their family need to help them gradually recover.
1.5. If the Scottish Government’s vision for achieving improved life chances for children, young people and families at risk is to become reality, there needs to be access to abuse recovery services for every child who needs them.
1.6. There is currently a shortage of abuse recovery services for children and their families in Scotland. Children are often on waiting lists for months if not years.
1.7. CHILDREN 1ST is campaigning for increased investment in abuse recovery services so that every child or young person who needs help to recover from abuse can get that help when they require it. This way, vulnerable children can start to rebuild their lives and have hope for the future.
Last updated: Thursday 19 November 2009