Violence against children

UNICEF aims to reduce violence at home, at school, in communities and online, and to break the silence around this hidden epidemic

Girl suffering violence at home sits in the dark crying
UNICEF Serbia/2017/Pancic

Violence is present everywhere – at home, in schools, in institutions, on the streets.

In almost 1/3 of all cases of domestic violence the victims are children.

Violence, does not harm only children. It destroys the very essence of society, and has a negative impact on the wellbeing of families and communities.

UNICEF works on strengthening the cooperation among various sectors dealing with children – in healthcare, education and social protection, but also in the areas of justice and law enforcement – in order to prevent violence, and to address situations in which violence against children has occurred.

44% of boys and 42% of girls under the age of 14 have experienced corporal punishment at home.

Girl suffering violence tries to stop her attacker
UNICEF Serbia/2016/Bicanski

We strengthen the capacity of centres for social work, health care institutions, schools, judicial professionals, and the police to improve their work on preventing and reporting cases of violence, and their ability to adequately respond to it.

  • 44% of boys and 42% of girls under the age of 14 have experienced corporal punishment at home.
  • In almost half of all cases of domestic violence, the victims are children.
  • 84% of secondary school pupils have exposed themselves to some form of risk on the Internet during the previous year.
  • About 65% of pupils have suffered violence at least once, and 22% report frequent peer violence.
  • 70% of boys and 68% of girls (grades 6-8) have experienced gender-based violence in school.

198,000 children indirectly benefited from teams for prevention and protection of children from violence.