The 2009 Tanzania Violence Against Children Survey revealed the extent to which children are sexually assaulted, raped, physically attacked, and emotionally abused.
Close to three quarters of 13 to17-year-olds report having been slapped, punched, beaten or threatened with a weapon by a relative, authority figure or intimate partner. The practice of physical violence is deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and norms, and further reinforced by legal frameworks that legitimize physical discipline of children at home and in schools. Domestic violence is also generally accepted in families.
A quarter of children have been called bad names, made to feel unwanted or threatened with abandonment, all of which constitute emotional abuse. Abuse is rarely reported as the perpetrators are usually known to the abused child. Children also do not know where to go for care, treatment and support. Very few children have birth certificates, making it difficult to access social services and legal protection.
Early marriage (before the age of 18) is common in Tanzania. This exposes young girls to the risk of violence.
Children in conflict with the law are not served by a child-friendly justice system and are often treated like criminals, rather than as victims of parental neglect, poverty and violence. Many are confined in prisons with adults, which also increases their vulnerability to further violence and abuse.