Every six minutes, there is a case of violence against a child or teenager in Brazil. Pequeno Príncipe Hospital contributes to change this sad reality and has provided services to patients who are victims of various forms of violence sincesince its foundation. The institution provides a multidisciplinary team and is a reference for these boys and girls. As well as providing medical and psychological assistance, protection and shelter, the Hospital also mobilizes the community through protective posture since the 1970’s. These campaigns help the public identify signs of the violence, emphasize the importance of reporting these crimes, and empower children and teenagers on their right to say no in situations of abuse.
The Pra Toda Vida Campaign (Whole Life Campaign) – Violence can’t shape the future of children and teenagers began in 2006 and developed materials that orient health and education professionals on how to identify early signs of abuse. These booklets disclose the protocols about the care of patients and instructions to report cases of abuse. The materials also stimulate citizens (neighbors, friends, relatives) to report suspect cases of violence and encourage children and teenagers to ask for help.
Click here to learn more about the Pra Toda Vida Campaign.
Sad statistics: the aggressor was who should protect the child
Just in 2017, 607 children and teenagers arrived at Pequeno Príncipe for medical assistance with displaying signs linked to violence. Majority of them, 317, were related to sexual abuse. These boys’ and girls’ home is the place where majority of the abuse, neglect and maltreatment takes place. And in 72% of the case, the violence is perpetrated by a family member. In other words, the people who should be responsible for taking care and protecting are the ones who are committing these abuses.
“Many times the abuser is the person in charge of taking care of the children. They’re people the child knows and/or is a part of their family. That’s why everybody, including teachers, caretakers and neighbors, are responsible for looking out and reporting any suspicious behavior,” points out Daniela Prestes, the psychologist in charge of these services in the Hospital. Since many children are too young to be able to verbally communicate, it’s extremely important that the people around them notice behavioral changes, marks on their bodies, changes of behavior, hygiene and other indications that there could be abuse. “Many people think parents own their children but that isn’t true. It’s all of society’s responsibility to protect these children and teenagers,” she stated.
See also the video prepared to sensitize the population to the National Day Against Violence of Childrens and Teenagers:
– Columbia University specialist points out the consequence of violence in child development
– Pay attention to the signs of violence