Violence against children increases
By Emily Watson
Children & Young People Now
21 April 2010
Violent attacks on children increased last year, according to a study of hospital admissions published by Cardiff University.
The annual survey is based on data from a sample of 44 accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres across England and Wales.
The number of children aged 10 and under attending emergency centres because of violence-related injuries rose by 7.5 per cent in 2009, the largest increase among all age groups.
Chris Cloke, NSPCC head of child protection awareness, said: "It is worrying that there is an increase in the number of children brought to hospital with injuries from violence. We need to understand the reasons for this increase, but it is yet another reminder that children of all ages experience violence.
"Such information must be passed to all professionals involved with the child so that any necessary action can be taken to protect that child. We know that in too many cases where children have died or suffered serious harm, signs of possible abuse were not properly shared or acted on."
The study, which was conducted by Cardiff's Violence and Society Research Group, started in 2001 and highlights an overall decline in the number of violence related hospital admissions, including the number of children who became victims of violent attacks in the next age bracket — 11- to 17-year-olds — which fell by 6 per cent.
Violence and Society Research Group director Professor Jonathan Shepherd said: "We should remember that the overall trend remains downwards. Our study has shown a fall of just over 15 per cent since 2001. However, this year's figures and last year's show there is still some way to go in tackling serious violence in this country."