The number of Swiss children who are victims of physical or psychological abuse has risen for the fifth year in a row, according to figures from children’s hospitals.
The 20 hospitals that took part in the annual survey reported 1,889 cases in 2022, which is a 14% rise on the previous year.
Some 30% of cases last year were of neglect, followed by 28% physical abuse and 27% psychological abuse as the most common reasons for hospitalisation.
But children can also be severely traumatised from witnessing domestic abuse involving their parents.
Girls are more likely to be victims than boys in all forms of mistreatment, but particularly with sexual abuse where girls make up 84% of cases.
Some 44.8% of cases involved children under the age of six and 18% of victims had not reached their first birthday.
The number of child abuse cases in the annual survey has been creeping up every year since the 1,502 recorded in 2018.
Georg Staubli, who heads the child protection unit at the Zurich University Children’s Hospital told Swiss public broadcaster SRF that it is difficult to pinpoint the cause of the rising cases.
He speculated that increased pressure on parents may be partially to blame. “Job loss, stress or fears because of inflation or because of the Ukraine war could be factors here,” he said.
Source : SWI