The Epidemiology of Violence Against Children

Friday, February 12, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Harding (Marriott Wardman Park)
James Mercy, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
More than 1 billion children—half of all children in the world—are exposed to violence every year.   The violence children are exposed to includes both direct experiences of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as indirectly witnessing violence in their homes, schools, and communities.  What these various forms of violence share is their enduring potential for life-long consequences.  These consequences include increases in the risks of injury, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, mental health problems, reproductive health problems, and non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes.  Studies addressing biologic underpinnings of such consequences demonstrate that violence-associated toxic stress may cause damage to the nervous, endocrine, circulatory, musculo-skeletal, reproductive, respiratory, and immune systems.  This presentation will share information on patterns in the nature, characteristics, and consequences of violence against children based on surveys conducted around the world.