Violence threatens not only children’s survival and health, but also their emotional well-being and future prospects. Violence experienced or witnessed by a child at an early age, when the brain and body are at a crucial stage of development, can cause lifelong damage. It affects children’s physical and mental health, compromises their ability to learn and socialize, and undermines their development as functional adults and good parents later in life.
Violence against children at home is a social norm and not frowned upon, even when it occurs in public. While few parents in Moldova believe that violence is necessary to raise a child, almost half still believe that beating is an acceptable form of discipline and 16 per cent of parents admit to beating a child younger than one year.
Poverty and poor living conditions, alcohol consumption, and the migration of parents where children are left behind, are increasing the risk of children being neglected, abused, or exploited.