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Tanzania introduces new plan to prohibit violence against children

Tanzanian authorities recently announced a five-year plan to eliminate all forms of violence towards children that have been plaguing the country silently for decades, IRIN reports.

A recent survey conducted by the Muhimhili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) surveyed 3,739 female and male youths between the ages of 13 and 24 throughout the country to uncover how many have experienced some form of abuse - sexual, emotional or physical - in their lifetimes.

Gideon Kwesigabo of MUHAS presented the findings, which found that sexual violence is heavily prevalent throughout the nation. Three out of 10 females admitted that they had experienced sexual violence before they were 18, the news outlet reports.

"Levels of violence [against children] reported are high in all settings; forms of violence reported and described are equally disturbing, including being beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and even murdered," Sophia Simba, the Minister for Community Development, Gender and Children, told the news outlet.

In the new five-year plan, the National Plan for Prevention and Response to Violence Against Children, is geared to give children the ability to break their silence in hopes of preventing future health problems from occuring.

"The police force has already established gender and children's desks at all stations through the country, where issues relating to violence and cruelty are handled in the atmosphere of confidentiality," Simba told the news source.

The country hopes to combat this problem with the help of humanitarian groups by educating children about why violence is wrong and and how they can and should ask for help.
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