According to the Sri Lankan sources, around 2000 cases involving some form of violence towards a child are filed with the Attorney General’s Department each year, UNICEF said in a statement yesterday.

Most of the violence is taking place within the family among those a child knows and trusts.

A 2005 UNICEF-supported study conducted in Anuradhapura, Colombo South and Ratnapura revealed that 70 per cent of incidents were inflicted by a relative or someone close to the family, while 27 per cent were within a relationship, and only 3 per cent of incidents were inflicted by a stranger or person unknown to the victim.

The UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Reza Hossaini said “One child abused is one too many. Violence destroys the very essence of childhood and spirals into their adult life. Children must be made to feel safe, free from molestation and abuse and importantly, be able to trust the very people who are supposed to protect them.”

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