Violence against children: a global problem

Violence against children is one of the biggest problems affecting families and societies. It happens all around the world, in all countries and communities – and all too often, it happens in the family. Read on to learn more about the problem of violence against children, effective approaches to ending it and how we help children heal and thrive after experiencing trauma.

Read the statement from Neil Ghosh, CEO of SOS Children's Villages USA, about the migrant crisis at the U.S. border and the urgent need to end violence against children.


International law

International law clearly establishes every child’s right to protection against violence. That right is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Yet violence against children persists. Often, it remains hidden. Many cases are not reported or investigated. And children suffer trauma that can last a lifetime.

Help end violence against children

The Right to Protection: Ending Violence against Children

This report examines the various forms of violence children are exposed to, the impact of violence on children and ways of preventing and responding.

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Risk factors for experiencing violence

Our experience and research show that children who are inadequately protected and cared for are at a higher risk of facing violence.

Devastating impact of violence

Violence can affect a child for the rest of their life, with severe consequences for a child’s physical, psychological and mental health. Without adequate support and care, violence and trauma can have long-term effects on a child’s development and future life.

Learn how SOS Children's Villages heals childhood trauma around the world and how parents can help their children cope with trauma.

Children who have experienced violence are also more likely to perpetuate the cycle, passing on patterns of violence to their peers or future generations.

Ending violence against children is not only important for each child’s rights, but also for healthy communities and societies.

Ending violence against children

Putting an end to all forms of violence – in families, at school, in communities and states torn by conflict – is of crucial importance for children’s rights and well-being, and a sustainable future.

SOS Children’s Villages works in a range of ways to help prevent and adequately respond to all forms of violence against children and adolescents, and we support society to do so, as well:

  • Supporting and strengthening families to foster stable and positive relationships

  • Empowering communities and raising awareness among national and community stakeholders to create safer environments for children

  • Strengthening support networks to help others respond appropriately to cases of child abuse and risks of violence

  • Providing nurturing environments and quality care to facilitate recovery and resilience of children who have experienced violence

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