In many countries, gender discrimination and gender-based violence are factors that cause, often among the poorest communities but not only, child marriage. Gender based violence can result in the most dangerous and harmful situations for girls.
Where gender-based violence against children is very high, girls are at risk of rape and other types of sexual violence. Sexual assaults occur in various places, even the ones known for being the most secure, like on the way to school, in schools or at home.
Most of the time, children know their attackers: in the majority of cases, it is someone from the family. Parents on the other hand tend to marry their daughter in belief that a marriage will protect her from sexual assault and stigmatization within the community.
However, these beliefs are wrong: not only girls who marry before 18 will not be protected from gender-based violence, but it might even increase the risk of domestic violence including marital rape and repeated sexual abuse.
Know what to do! You can report violence through the police and international child helpline network. The international line is the same in all countries – 116.
To learn more about violence against children and know what you can do to recognize and report it, you can read our End Violence content on Internet of Good Things