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More Than 1,254 Child Abuse Cases Reported in 2014

child abuseMore than 600 cases of child abuse involving 1,254 children were reported to The Smile of the Child organization through October 2014.
The Smile of the Child is a non-profit organization that handles all issues pertaining to the protection and welfare of children in Greece. It has been in operation for twenty years and so far has helped 896,990 children, according to president Costas Yiannopoulos. The organization released the figures to coincide with the International Day for Prevention of Child Abuse (November 19).
The figures were presented during an event in Thessaloniki, where The Smile of the Child president stated the following, “Child abuse is something that should concern us every day and not today only. Every day we come across incidents with abused children and we try to ensure a better future for them. These figures are not just numbers. Behind every number there is a child, and behind every child there is a tragic story.”
The organization figures show that 98% of the reports were anonymous and included a total of 1,254 children, 597 boys (47%), 503 girls (40%) and 157 children (13%) whose sex and age was not stated. Forty-two percent of the children were under 6 years old, 43% of the cases had to do with bodily harm, and 91% of the abusers were their parents, one or both of them.
According to the organization, in the first 10 months of 2014, they had 92 cases where the volunteer social workers and child psychologists of Smile of the Child had to intervene immediately. The particular cases involved 151 children, and 91% of them had to be immediately removed from their families. Eight percent received support from social workers and psychologists of the organization, and the remaining 1% had to get help from special state agencies. Seventeen of the children who were removed from their families are now staying in Smile of the Child facilities.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the International Convention on the  Rights of the Child (November 20), the Greek ombudsman said that children’s rights continue to be violated in Greece and the recession has played a crucial role in the last few years. The ombudsman suggested new and more effective measures for the protection and welfare of children.

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