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2013-08-24

AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Violence against children: an "epidemic" that continues to spread

San José (Agenzia Fides) – Since the beginning of 2013, 1,115 children who suffered physical assaults have been assisted at the National Pediatric Hospital (HNN) in Costa Rica. According to data released by the health center, the situation is alarming because the annual average of cases of violence against minors correspond to 1,500. Concern is also growing because the attacks are becoming more violent, physical, sexual and psychological. However, the actual figures reported by the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (Pani) exceed those of the HNN. Every year this organization receives more than 13,000 complaints. In 2010, the same HNN defined the phenomenon of violence against children as an "epidemic" and reported that 74.2% of Costa Rican adults verbally abused their children and 65.3% physically assaulted them. In addition, 32% of women and 13% of adult men admitted to having been sexually abused during childhood. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 24/08/2013)

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