The Effects of Violence Against Children
Children who are victims of maltreatment or eyewitnesses to violent actions experience immediate and long-term repercussions.
- Physical and psychological trauma.
- Damages to the nervous and immune systems.
- Harmful mental health impacts like anxiety and depression.
- Negative coping behaviors such as crime, misuse of drugs and alcohol and high-risk sexual behaviors.
- Increased exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS.
- Social ostracism.
- Unwanted pregnancies.
- Severe physical injuries or disabilities.
- Difficulties and/or absences from school.
- Trouble finding a job.
- Heightened risk of subsequent involvement in violence.
- Major financial costs for the community.
Preventing Violence Against Children Through Child Sponsorship
At Compassion, we partner with thousands of local churches in low- and middle-income countries to identify children living in unsafe circumstances, including children especially vulnerable to violence.
Our Child Sponsorship Program helps combat child violence by expanding the circle of caring adults actively participating in a child’s life. It helps foster an environment where the child is known, loved and protected.
The minimum standards for our program dictate that each child development center provide four to eight hours of programming each week, at least 48 weeks out of the year, and that individual child attendance be taken each time the center is open. If a child doesn’t show up at the center, a staff member checks on the situation.
The child development center workers and church leaders running the program know each and every child they serve, investing in the child personally and relationally, as friends and mentors.
When a child in our program is exploited, traumatized, abused or victimized, they act immediately.
On average, a child enrolled in our sponsorship program spends 4,000 hours participating in safe, nurturing programs.
Child Protection: Our Highest Priority
Compassion’s approach to child protection begins with preventing abuse and violence against children whenever possible, especially before it begins. It is based on eight strongly held convictions, including:
- No violence against children is justifiable.
- Preventing violence against children is possible.
- It’s everyone’s job to protect children.
When abuse or violence is reported or detected, our church partners intervene quickly seeking to provide restoration and healing. Through them, we help with legal resources to represent and defend the child’s rights.
We also work to restore and heal the child emotionally, physically and spiritually by providing medical care, counseling and safe shelter. The church-based child development center is a consistent source of support for the children and the families.