NEWS

Violence against children rises

The number of reported cases of physically abused children rose significantly in 2006 as data released on family violence yesterday also show that most abused women are highly educated. Research prepared by children rights watchdog the Child’s Smile shows that there were 446 cases of reported child abuse between January to October, up 52 percent on the whole of last year. Only 25 percent of adults who witness child abuse will report the incident, while 72 percent of victims are below the age of 12, the watchdog added. People are reluctant to report the incidents to the relevant state bodies because they cannot do so anonymously, according to Chrysoula Mavrakis, a psychologist for the Child’s Smile. Data show that most of the children were abused by members of their immediate family. About 60 percent of reported cases involved parents neglecting their children while 30 percent of incidents related to cases of physical beatings. The watchdog also called for the creation of networks in local communities that can help take care of abused children. Meanwhile, data released yesterday by the Interior Ministry’s General Secretariat for Gender Equality show that only 16 percent of physically abused women who sought help were foreign nationals. Figures gathered between 2002 and October 2005 show that seven in 10 women beaten were secondary school or university graduates. «The myth that abused women normally have a low level of education is not confirmed,» the Interior Ministry report said, marking the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.