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Abuse, sexual physical and psychological harassment. This is what over 91 thousand children in Italy are forced to endure. This is what has emerged comes from the shocking data on a first national survey on child-and-teenage abuse in Italy”, conducted by Terre des Hommes and Cismai, in cooperation with the National Association of Italian municipalities, Anci. The investigation was conducted on behalf of the ‘Authority for Childhood and Adolescence and presented to the government.

The data; based on the total number of children and adolescents taken into account-has revealed that the number of minors that have been taken under custody and attended to by social welfare services in the country, is higher in the south and central Italy, (respectively 273.7 and 259.9 every thousand) against 155.7 cases in the north. To be mostly hit are females and foreigners.

The most frequent type of mistreatment is either the lack of material support and or lack of affection (55% of cases surveyed), assisted violence (19%) and psychological harassment (14 percent). On average, each abused child receives at least two types of services both security and protection, such as economic assistance to the family ( 27.9% of cases), introduced into a community (19.3 percent), home care (17.9 per cent), family (14.4%) in custody, care in a day care centre (10.2 percent). While the social services in the north, are more efficient in assisting a greater number of children, and perform prevention, in the south and central Italy, particularly severe cases come to the centres. The survey was carried out on 2.4 million children living in Italy and 231 municipalities, distributed throughout the national territory were taken under examination.

“This job that truly reflects the situation is arduous but necessary; in order to understand the magnitude of the phenomenon, its geographic distribution on the territory, the specificity, the culture in order to be able to give adequate answers. It also a way to put forward real proposals to the government and Parliament in order to stem the violence as much as possible towards those who are under 18 years of age. The Authority that I chair, wanted this valuable monitoring and research-work, “said Vincenzo Spadafora, national Supervisor for Childhood and Adolescence.

The warranty of Authority for minors, has long been engaged in the survey of child-abuse cases. The work carried out by the first Advisory Commission chaired by professor Luigi Cancrini has worked in this direction.
“Research experience has successfully come up with a monitoring system on child-abuse, involving social services in various Italian municipalities-said Andrea Bollini, national Counsellor of Cismai-this monitor can be paced up with the Service Record, laid out by the Ministry of Social policies. The Cismai has always fought to keep trace of a permanent system of data collection on violence, taking the repeated invitations of the WHO and the UN. The results of this work are fundamental in order to have an overview of the phenomenon in Italy and to compare it with the situation in other states “.

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