This was disclosed on Thursday by the Director of Child Development at the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Alaba Fadairo during a one-day Media Workshop on the Nigeria Violence against Children Survey Report conducted by the UNICEF in partnership with other stakeholders.
Millions of children suffer violence every year in Nigeria – approximately six out of every 10 children under the age of 18 years experience some form of physical, emotional and sexual violence before the age of 18 years, according to the report.
Nigeria becomes the first country in West Africa and fifth in the continent - after Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe - to conduct a VAC survey.
In Nigeria, Plateau, Gombe and Cross River, Benue States are expected to launch their priority actions as well this year.
Mrs. Fadairo said the challenge of taking the campaign to every part of the country was enormous, adding that private sector partnership was vital in achieving positive outcomes.
Mrs Fadairo said the state government is determined to support initiatives and partner business organisations and development partners to combat violence against children.
The survey which which was presented by Mr. Tatenda Makoni, Child Protection Spectialist at UNICEF, shows that the majority of children who experience physical, sexual or emotional violence in childhood do so on multiple occasions. The findings shows that over half of children first experienced physical violence between the ages of 6 and 11. Approximately 1 in 10 children’s first experienced physical violence under the age of 5.
A third of girls experienced their first incident of sexual violence between 14 and 15. while almost a third of boys experienced their first incident of sexual violence at 13 years and younger. Approximately half of children first experienced emotional violence before the age of 12.