Methods: Implementation of the strategy was monitored through a survey of 82 questions. The online questionnaire was sent to the 53 WHO focal points at ministries of health in the region in August 2016. National experts were invited to comment on specific topic areas, such as prevention of violence. The survey closed in April 2017, and had a response rate of 91% (48 of 53 countries).
Findings: Findings indicate that ministries reported a lack of data collection on violence in childhood and adolescence, and a lack of appropriate education addressing intimate partner violence throughout the region. While surveys of child maltreatment exist in just over half of countries (n=28, 58%), they vary in frequency, and rarely include responses from children. Two-thirds of countries (n= 30, 63%) reported providing age- and gender-appropriate education that addresses intimate-partner violence, however, only a third of countries (n=17, 35%) conducted nationally-representative surveys on intimate-partner violence.
Conclusion: Violence against children and adolescents is a leading cause of health inequality and social injustice that is highly patterned by socioeconomical status. While most countries collect data on child maltreatment every 1–6 years, the surveys often do not include children as the main providers of information. There is a need to increase knowledge about children’s and adolescents’ sexual/intimate-partner violence experience. Less than half of the countries undertake nationally-representative surveys on intimate-partner violence for children and adolescents, even though younger age is a consistent risk factor for experiencing intimate-partner violence, influencing subsequent violence. These findings help to identify gaps in monitoring and implementation of preventative measures in the European Region and give Member States specific areas to collect data that include children from a certain age, routinely, and in consultation with the national experts. Large scale monitoring of preventive efforts could be improved by attending to implement a national strategy that includes monitoring of key indicators.