In Germany, concerns are rising about the increasing numbers of children exposed to various forms of neglect, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.
According to official statistics released by the Federal Statistical Office in Germany, the number of affected children and teenagers surpassed 60,000 this year, marking the highest figure recorded to date.
The numbers reveal that 62,000 children and adolescents were subjected to threats to their well-being due to various forms of abuse in 2022. These concerning cases include alarming rates of neglect, psychological, physical, and sexual violence, with a recorded increase of 4% compared to the previous year.
Despite the efforts of youth care offices in the country, the large number of severe cases of neglect and violence reaches 33,400 cases, posing a significant challenge to child welfare.
The reports indicate that signs of neglect were found in 59% of the cases, and indications of psychological violence appear in over one-third of the affected children.
In addition, the reports revealed that 27% of the cases were exposed to physical violence, and 5% suffered from sexual abuse. Moreover, in five instances, children were subjected to more than one type of maltreatment simultaneously.
The offices are dedicated to providing support and assistance to affected children, with 47% of them already receiving youth care services. Statistics show that the majority of affected children fall within the age range of 8 to 14 years old.
The rise of these numbers comes amid increasing poverty rates in Germany and a rise in the number of families unable to afford the costs of basic meals. This puts many children in a vulnerable situation that requires immediate intervention to provide the necessary support.
Furthermore, reports related to suspected child endangerment have seen a 3% increase, reaching a total of 203,700 cases.
Estimates confirm a 63% increase in the number of individuals exposed to long-term threats since 2012. Neglect and violence cases have markedly risen between 2017 and the COVID-19 year of 2020. They slightly declined in 2021 but surged again in 2022.
Amidst these alarming developments, efforts to enhance the protection of children’s rights and provide them with a safe and sustainable environment continue. With the increasing number of children in need, they require ongoing attention, care, and support from the community and authorities to ensure a better future for them.
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