European report on preventing child maltreatment. Summary
Child maltreatment − the physical, sexual, mental abuse and/or neglect of children younger than 18 years – exists in every society. It is common in the WHO European Region and globally, often occurring with other negative experiences, such as having a carer with a mental illness, drug or alcohol problem or who is in prison, or witnessing intimate partner (domestic) violence, or living through parental separation.
While severe child maltreatment may come to the attention of child protection agencies, more hidden forms that progress over many years also exist. Concerns that traditional responses focusing on protecting children from harm are failing to stem the tide of child maltreatment in Europe are increasing, with calls for a greater focus on prevention. "The European report on preventing child maltreatment" written for policy-makers, practitioners and activists from across government sectors and nongovernmental organizations argues that much child maltreatment can be prevented through a public health approach.