Ibn-e- Sina Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Students Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Midwifery M.Sc., Instructor, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.
Faculty Member, Department of Community Health and Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Child abuse is a recognized public health and social problem worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), child abuse includes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect and negligent treatment and exploitation. Child maltreatment is a global problem with serious life-long consequences. In spite of recent national surveys in several low- and middle-income countries, data from many countries are still lacking. Estimates of child maltreatment indicate that nearly a quarter of adults (22.6%) worldwide suffered physical abuse as a child, 36.3% experienced emotional abuse and 16.3% experienced physical neglect, with no significant differences between boys and girls. However, the lifetime prevalence rate of childhood sexual abuse indicates more marked differences by sex – 18% for girls and 7.6% for boys. The lifelong consequences of child maltreatment include impaired physical and mental health, poorer school performance, and job and relationship difficulties. Ultimately, child maltreatment can contribute to slowing a country's economic and social development. We conclude that child maltreatment is a widespread, global phenomenon affecting the lives of millions of children all over the world, which is in sharp contrast with the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child.