Infants most likely to be victims of violence against children and adolescents during the Covid pandemic in Paraná


Data from the Protective Committee show babies, up to 1 year of age, represent 7.3% of all 2,773 cases of violence recorded this year.

Reports from the Protective Committee, which show violence rates against children and teens during the Covid pandemic in Paraná, are alarming.

From 1st January to 23rd March, 2,773 cases were reported. All in all, 2,977 children and adolescents were victims of some sort of violence. Among them the most vulnerable are infants under 1 year of age (220 cases), teenagers of 14 (251), 15 (331), 16 (342) and 17 years of age (378 cases), as per data provided by the Law Enforcement Department of Paraná (SESP).

The Committee is an initiative of the Child & Youth’s Supervision and Coordination Council (CONSIJ/CIJ), which belongs to the Courts of Justice of Paraná (TJPR), together with the  Law Enforcement Department (SESP), Justice & Family Secretariat (SEJUF/FORTIS), State Health Secretariat (SESA), State Education & Sports Secretariat (SEED), Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Brazilian Bar Association – OAB/PR, State Council of Rights (CEDCA), Association of Municipalities, Child Protection Services, among other representative bodies within the protection net.

Most Common Crimes

Data gathered by the Committee also show the most frequent crimes recorded between 1st January 2020 and 31st January 2021. Bodily injury was the most common crime during the period (3,997), followed by threat (3,931) and statutory rape (3.829). The survey shows that in 99% of the cases, the crimes were perpetrated at home and by a person known to the victim. 

Child sexual abuse appears in four different forms, among the most common crimes recorded in the period: statutory rape (3.829), sexual abuse (469), acquaintance rape (375) and sexual harassment (211).

“Sexual assault is endemic in our country. The perpetrator is, usually, someone close to the child. Parents, uncles and aunts, grandparents or caregivers. This is an indication that we need to work harder and prevent such abuse, because sexual violence, even if all assistance and care are given after the crime, leaves the child scarred for the rest of his/her life”, said the state coordinator for infancy and youth of the TJPR, the Honorable Judge Noeli Salete Tavares Reback.

Curitiba is taking the lead in recording crimes against children and teenagers (3,645), followed by Londrina (1,051), Ponta Grossa (902), Cascavel (732), Foz do Iguaçu (730) and Maringá (587).

Victim profile

Girls are usually the most common victims of violence; they comprise 63% of all cases. More specifically, girls are repeatedly subjected to threats and sexual assault, and we highlight rape and attempted rape. As for boys, they are commonly victims of theft, breach of the peace, abandonment and aggravated theft. 

Perpetrator profile

The Protective Committee shows that 76% of the perpetrators are men and 24% women. The study reveals that low educational background is frequent among abusers. Almost half were not able to finish primary school. And a large proportion of child abuse seems to be committed by individuals ranging from 18 to 29 years old.

Numbers from the Judiciary Branch of Paraná

Comparing the months between March and June, in 2019 and 2020, it is possible to see how crimes against children and teenagers increased in the State: 

March34.974 37.607

Source: TJPR (DTIC) IT and Communication Department.

Additionally, the number of decisions towards suspension or destitution of family/parental rights also increased in the period – from 181 (March-July 2019) to 187 (March-July 2020).

“Don’t Be Silent” Campaign

Having these figures in mind, the Protective Committee highlights the importance of reporting suspected child abuse or neglect. The Coordination explains that, due to pandemic restrictions, many child protection practitioners that directly respond to violence against children had their work and movement restrained. “Child protective services, schools, nurseries, front-line institutions, which are usually tools  to report child abuse had their doors closed. Thus, we need to raise awareness, mainly among children, on the need to report suspect abuse and halt these growing numbers, during social isolation”, said the Judge.

Therefore, the “Don’t Be Silent” campaign is a means to interact with the families and speak frankly to the child and adolescent that is a victim of violence, aiming at reporting abuse and break silence.

The Campaign encompasses three videos produced by Educa Play (SEED) and counts on the support of the Bureau of Crimes Against Children and Adolescents (NUCRIA), a branch of the Civil Police Department of the State of Paraná, with sentences selected from real cases, spoken by real victims of violence, during their accounts to the police, always respecting the anonymity of the interested parties.

The first video shows written sentences extracts from accounts given by children and images of the city during the pandemic. It ends with the following sentence: “Don’t be Silent! Report! 181”. Watch the first video here.

The second video also shows sentences and images of the city, and children as narrators. At the end, the sentence: “Don’t Be Silent! Report! 181. Watch the second video here.

The third video shows images of the city. Then, all you can see are children and adolescents’ mouths saying, “I won’t be silent!”. At the end, we have the sentence: “During the Covid pandemic, violence against children and teens do not stop …let us rewrite such stories. Don´t be silent! Report 181!”. Watch the third video here.

Crimes reported between 1st January 2020 and 31st January 2021

Check the number of crimes recorded in Paraná, between 1st January 2020 and 31st January 2021, involving youngsters under 18 years of age:

  • Bodily Injury – 3,997;
  • Threat – 3,931;
  • Statutory Rape – 3,829;
  • Bodily Injury – domestic and Family violence – 1,435;
  • Theft – 1,335;
  • Breach of Peace – 936;
  • Ill Treatment – 899;
  • Injury – 886;
  • Assault – 861;
  • Simple Theft – 488;
  • Sexual Harassment – 469;
  • Aggravated Theft – 434;
  • Damage – 390;
  • Rape or Indecent Assault – 375;
  • Abandonment – 322;
  • Defamation – 290;
  • Grand Larceny – 262;
  • Supply of Products that Cause Physical/Chemical Addiction – 236;
  • Public Nuisance – 235;
  • Sexual Molestation – 211.