Violence against children seen as a common and growing problem, World Vision’s new study finds

  • World Vision and IPSOS Reid lead survey of 11,000 people in over 28 countries
  • Children more at risk at home than anywhere, but “out there” still seen as most dangerous place
  • World Vision launches “Fearing Wrong” Report and calls for EU to follow-up with policies and actions to address all forms of violence against children

The places where people think their children are most in danger are not the ones they should be most scared about, finds a World Vision report Fearing Wrong to be launched on 25 February at an event hosted by MEP Anna-Maria Corraza-Bildt (EPP, Sweden).

The report, produced with research company Ipsos Reid, reveals that people around the world think violence is a common, growing and under-reported problem, yet one that is still surrounded in misperception and misunderstanding.  

“Violence against children is the most pervasive, dangerous, silent horror of our time,” says report lead Dr Kirsty Nowlan, director of public policy for World Vision. “It is shrouded in misunderstandings and misperceptions which are holding back progress on this issue.” 

The survey of 11,331 people aged 16 and over in 28 countries found that the majority (61 per cent) of people think that “out there” – public transportation and other public places – is where children are most likely to be at risk.

“Tragically, this is wrong. The most dangerous place for too many children around the world is their own home, where they should be safest,” says Dr Nowlan.

“Perhaps most worryingly is that the vast majority of people – 79 per cent – feel that most violence against children goes unreported, which is one of the things we should be most scared about. The true extent of this problem, and its solutions, are still relatively unknown,” she says. 

World Vision will present the findings of the report to four prominent MEPs, all members of the European Parliament’s Child Rights Inter Group. The event will also be addressed by Ernest Sagaga, head of human rights and safety with the International Federation of Journalists, who will speak on the media’s approach to reporting on child violence. 

 “The EU can play a key role in preventing violence against children around the world,” says Deirdre de Burca, World Vision Brussels advocacy director. “The EU Parliament’s new Intergroup on Children’s Rights provides a suitable platform to address the issue of violence against children in collaboration with other EU institutions and with child rights NGOs. 

“The results of this report reveal people expect governments and decision makers to take action on violence against children. Now is the time. In less than nine months, world leaders will gather at the United Nations in New York and finish their negotiations on the post-2015 framework. 

“This new global framework will determine the priorities of international development for the next 15 years. Violence against children must be included as a key issue to be addressed in the new framework. If the EU speaks with one voice on this matter, we have a chance to see violence against children addressed globally,” says de Burca.



World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. It works in close to 100 countries in most regions of the world including Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific Region.

For more information please contact Alexandra Matei, Policy and Communications Officer, World Vision Brussels & EU Representation, +32 (0) 2 274 18 68,