The Right To Live Free Of Violence In A Tranquil Home Setting

Relationship with parents or parental surrogate
Two girls look out the window of their house in Meilleur, Haiti.

Almost all (9 out of 10 children or 91%) cite having a good or excellent relationship with their mother, while 7 out of 10 (74%) indicate the same with respect to their father. In contrast, 8% say they have a regular or bad relationship with their mother and 11% with their father. The trend of seeing the relationship with the mother in a more favourable light relative to the father is observed across all segments.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• The relationship with my Mother is…(total) [view]
• The relationship with my Father is…(total) [view]


Presence of aggressive and/or violent behaviours in the home

Although 74% of respondents did not perceive the presence of aggressive or violent behaviours in the home, it is disconcerting that more than 1 in 4 (26%) indicate that aggressive or violent episodes such as shouting and beatings are witnessed at home. This represents around 26 million cases.

Across geographical zones, the highest levels are reported in the Southern Cone (35%), mainly in Argentina and Uruguay, and the Andean Zone(34%), especially in Peru and Bolivia.

The prevalence of this behaviour is primarily linked to quarrels between the parents, and secondarily to parental disputes with their children. While this was observed among all segments under study, it increases as income levels decrease, and tends to be higher in urban areas and among working children.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• Sometimes in my home there is shouting or beatings…(total) [view]
• In my house there are shouts and beatings…(by region) [view]
• Aggressive or violent episodes occur when…(total) [view]


The right not to be mistreated
The importance of a loving family. Havana, Cuba.

When "they do something wrong or misbehave," 16% of children in Latin America and the Caribbean assert that they are being maltreated in their homes either through beatings (13%) or insults (3%). The reports are higher among blacks (21%) and indigenous peoples (21%), younger children (19%), children living in rural areas (17%), males (15%) and those with lower socio-economic status (15%).

Accusations of beatings are significantly higher in following geographical zones:

  • Caribbean (28%), with the highest reports from Haiti (40%), Guyana (23%) and Dominican Republic (20%)
  • Andean (14%), where Ecuador (19%) and Peru (18%) rank highest
  • Central America (14%), with the highest reports from Guatemala (19%) and Honduras (17%).

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• When I behave bad, I get beaten…(by region) [view]


Influence of the family upon feelings of happiness

Overall family climate and the quality of the relationships within it were studied because of the importance that children attach to their family as a source of their happiness. The configuration of the family nucleus influences the prevalence of feelings of happiness, and children were significantly less happy without a mother.

The overall family climate is also an important factor influencing happiness. Aggressive and violent behaviours in the home decreases the prevalence of happiness and the quality of the child's relationship with parents significantly influences their feelings of happiness.

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• Feelings of happiness and quality of relationship with my Father …(total) [view]
• Feelings of happiness and quality of relationship with my Mother …(total) [view]


Changes that children would like to make within the family

Although more than half of respondents pointed out that they would not change anything in their family (56%), there is a significant percentage of children who would like to change their parents' attitudes, both towards themselves and with respect to the mother-father relationship:
• 10% of respondents said they would like to "change their parents' character," with higher figures for adolescents, female, low socio-economic status, and those who performed paid work.
• 9% of the children make reference to the conjugal relationship of their parents, wishing that "they wouldn't quarrel so much." Higher figures were found in the Caribbean, low-income segments, and young children (13 years of age and below).
• 6% of respondents would prefer that their parents be "not be so severe."

Click below to view the responses to the questions related to this issue:

• In my family, I would change…(total) [view]

This information is provided as a contribution to discussion on important issues affecting children. UNICEF Regional offices conducted the polls, analysis and interpretations of the findings. For more information, please contact the regional poll contact person directly.

About the poll
Children's awareness of their rights
Physical, mental and spiritual health
Violence at home
Access to information
Well-being and development