Alcohol and drug consumption cause child abuse, say Australian children

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Children
Children, mimicking the actions of their paired adult, read newspapers at Martin Place in Central Sydney September 8, 2008. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

A survey conducted by ChildFund Alliance, a global children’s welfare group, has found that growing numbers of Australia’s children identify alcohol and drugs as leading causes of child abuse. The study found that Aussie kids are becoming increasingly worried about Australia’s thriving drinking culture.

The Small Voices, Big Dreams Survey 2015 found that 70 percent of Australian children identified drugs and alcohol consumption by adults for the maltreatment of children, as opposed to the global average of 4 percent children.

Nigel Spence, CEO of ChildFund Australia, pointed out the sharp increase in the concern of children from 45 percent in 2013. “We know that alcohol-fuelled violence is commonly reported in the news and may also be experienced in the home,” said Spence in a ChildFund press release. “This result is a stark reminder that Australian children comprehend how alcohol and drugs can lead to abuse, and demonstrates their high degree of concern.”

The Small Voices, Big Dreams survey is among the largest polls of children’s opinions and viewpoints, worldwide. The 2015 edition of the survey took into account 5,805 children in the 10 to 12 years age group, from 44 countries. The survey group comprised a mix of children from both – developing and developed nations in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Two-hundred-thirty-one Australian children took part in the survey.

“The Small Voices, Big Dreams  survey findings come just months after the United Nations formally launched the Sustainable Development Goals, which commit world leaders to achieving child protection targets for the first time,” said Spence. “We must listen and respond to children’s concerns in order to provide the most effective response. Our survey shows there’s much to be done to ensure every child in Australia and around the world feels safe, and has the best chance of a childhood free from violence and exploitation.” 

According to the survey, Australian children feel that “punishment” by adults and the fact that adults have power are other major reasons why adults mistreat them.

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