A significant number of children in low and middle-income countries are the victim of sexual violence, according to data released today by the US-based Centres for Disease Control (CDC).
In the majority of the countries that participated in the CDC’s Violence Against Children Survey, at least 25 percent of females and 10 percent of males experienced childhood sexual violence. Among those who reported being a victim, less than 1 in 10 received supportive services, including healthcare, legal/security aid, or counselling support.
Experiencing violence is associated with increased risk for further sexual exploitation, multiple sex partners, experiencing or perpetrating rape, unwanted pregnancy, and HIV acquisition.
The data shows the need for country-specific sexual violence prevention and response. CDC has developed a comprehensive technical package called THRIVES, which includes evidence-based programs and policies that countries can use to prevent and respond to violence against children.
THRIVES spans multiple sectors such as health, education, mental health, social services, and justice systems, and its programs and policies are supported by research collected from CDC, the President’s (Obama) Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The results of this study also reinforce (PEPFAR) dedication to advancing research on the linkage between childhood sexual violence and HIV infections worldwide.
For more information on this Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which highlights data on global sexual violence against children collected from the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS):“Prevalence of Sexual Violence Against Children and Use of Social Services — Seven Countries, 2007–2013.” visit: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6421a1.htm?s_cid=mm6421a1_w