Alo 116: Gender-based violence starts since childhood

Alo 116: Gender-based violence starts since childhood

Thematic Report of the Albanian National Child Helpline shows that violence against girl-child by family and friends starts at an early age.

Tirana , 4 December 2013 - ALO 116: The Albanian National Child Helpline, within the framework of 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, makes public today the Thematic Report on Violence against Girl Child in Albania, which is based on the cases reported over a period of 4 years to ALO 116. The main conclusion of the report is that violence against women and girls does not start when they become adults, but rather it has its genesis much earlier, during the first years of their lives.

Many people in Albania believe that gender based violence is a "private" matter and shall not be discussed publicly . Within the family, girls often are not seen as equal. Girl-children call at ALO 116 to share their experiences of violence and the ways they are separated or otherwise treated differently compared with boys.

Girls often report that they are forced to perform housework or raise younger siblings. They often leave school because of their gender and consequently are forced to marry at a young age. Fraternal relations are also another element that shows that men in the family have a higher status and more rights against girls. They often physically abuse their sisters, while claim that as boys their words has more importance and should be respected.

BECAN epidemiological study which was conducted in nine countries of the Balkan region, including Albania, mapped the scale of violence against children in the general population of children from age of 11 up to 16. From the study it emerged that girls report higher psychological violence than boys (70 % prevalence /63 % incidence) meanwhile boys report (67 % prevalence and 60 % incidence). In connection with the feeling of neglect girls report it more often than boys. Prevalence among girls is 31 % meanwhile only 20 % among boys. Meanwhile the incidence is 27 % for girls and 16 % for boys.

Gender-based violence is a global pandemic. We hope that this report will bring to the attention of the public institutions, media, civil society the issue of the girl child, which is not often mentioned in state policies and reports, despite the need for special protection.

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