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Child abuse cases jump by 10% in 2017

The most common form of abuse was child neglect. Keystone

The number of child abuse victims in Switzerland rose by 10% last year, according to the latest statistics collected by the Swiss Society of Pediatrics (SSP).

This content was published on May 30, 2018 - 14:47
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The figures (in French)External link, released on Wednesday, show that some 1,730 individual cases of child abuse were reported by 20 paediatric clinics (from a total of 31) across Switzerland in 2017, up from 1,565 the previous year.

The most common form of abuse flagged was neglect – failing to provide for a child’s basic health and protection needs – which was reported in 38% of cases. This figure was almost double that of 2016.

Just over a quarter of the reported cases involved physical abuse, while 20% of children experienced psychological abuse such as the witnessing of domestic violence.

Sexual abuse was the least common complaint, but it also had the most skewed gender breakdown: 80% of sexual victims were girls. Across all forms of abuse, girls made up 56% of victims and boys 44%, identical to last year.

+ Compare with the figures from 2016 here

In terms of building a profile of the perpetrators, the SSP’s statistics show that abusers are slightly more likely to be male (44% were solely male; 24% solely female; the rest mixed or unknown), and extremely likely to be a member of the child’s family (84% of incidents).

Young children are most likely to be affected, with one in six abused children under the age of one, the SSP wrote. Some 46% of victims were under the age of six.

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