The consequences of abuse

Violence against children has long-term consequences for the health and well-being of children, families, communities and states.

Violence against children can:

Lead to death

Homicide using weapons -knives and firearms- is among the four top causes of death during adolescence; boys are the victims and perpetrators in 80% of the cases.

Lead to serious injuries

For every case of homicide there are hundreds of cases, mainly involving boys, of young victims of violence who sustain injuries caused by fighting and assaults in quarrels and brawls.

Affect the development of the brain and the nervous system

Exposure to violence from a young age can affect the development of the brain, while it also harms other parts of the nervous system, such as the endocrine, circulatory, musculoskeletal, reproductive, respiratory and immune systems, with long-term consequences. Violence against children from birth up to the first years of growth can negatively affect mental development, resulting in educational and vocational retardation.

Lead to inability to deal with everyday life and to behaviours that set health at risk

Children who have been exposed to violence and other adversities during early childhood are very likely to develop behaviours that are “negative” for their life, such as smoking, use of alcohol and drugs, dangerous sexual relationships. These children also display high rates of stress, depression, other mental disorders and suicidal tendencies.

Contribute to developing illnesses in adult life

Increased risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses in adult life is strongly linked with harmful habits practiced as a result of violence experienced during childhood.

Impact opportunities in adult life and future generations

Children who have been exposed to violence and other adversities are very likely to drop out of school and encounter difficulty in finding jobs, and face a higher risk of falling victims of deception+ and/or interpersonal violence (violence against partner or child) or self-inflicted violence (suicide, self-injury), thus also impacting future generations.