NEWS

Abuse

The cases of child abuse recorded by state services represent only a fraction of the whole. An estimated 10,000 children (2 percent of Greek children) suffer serious physical abuse, while 17-18 percent of girls and 7-8 percent of boys undergo sexual abuse, the vast majority at the hands of their parents. Surveys show that two-thirds of Greek parents approve of corporal punishment. As Nikolaidis told Kathimerini, apart from the fact that physical violence may disable or even kill a child (as in the increasing cases of «shaken infant» syndrome, which has a high mortality rate), abuse is a legacy that children carry for the rest of their life. «We often see the pattern of violence reproduced, either in delinquent behavior or in acts of violence. Girls who have suffered violence often abuse alcohol or develop anxiety disorders,» he said. Similarly, children who have been subjected to sexual abuse may develop anxiety disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.