}Each year up to 1 billion children experience some form of physical, sexual or psychological violence or neglect. Being a victim of violence in childhood has lifelong impacts on education, health, and well-being. Exposure to violence can lead to educational underachievement due to cognitive, emotional, and social problems. Because children who are exposed to violence are more likely to smoke, misuse alcohol and drugs, and engage in high-risk sexual behaviour, they are also more likely to endure a range of illnesses later in life. These include depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and HIV.


Given this reality, preventing violence against children is squarely on the international development agenda. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5.1 calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against girls, and SDG target 16.2 calls for ending all forms of violence against children. Access to education is equally prominent within the SDGs, with SDG target 4.a to build and upgrade education facilities that provide safe, non-violent learning environments for all.