More than half of Albania’s child victims of sexual violence live in extremely difficult economic conditions including inadequate housing.
This is according to a report presented by Barnhaus Albania, seen by Exit. It found that 55% of those who survived sexual violence were living in poverty and 42% of them lived in substandard housing conditions. This highlights a trend between financial hardship and sexual abuse.
But this trend is not unique to Albania. A number of studies from different countries have found that poverty and the mistreatment of children sadly go hand in hand. Typically, the more poverty a family is subjected to, the higher the risk and incidence of abuse.
In terms of age, those aged between 10-14 years old were more likely to be affected, and report child abuse. This was followed by the 15-18 age group. It’s not known if this is due to the fact that these ages are more likely to speak out about sexual violence and rape and to understand that what is happening to them is wrong.
Geographically, children in the south of Albania ranked first in terms of reporting sexual violence with 50% of reported cases happening there. Central Albania which includes the most densely populated cities of Tirana, Durres, and Albania, accounted for 42%. In the north of Albania, just 8% of reports originated from towns and cities of the region.
The report noted that the police were those who provided the most services to children who reported sexual violence, followed by the social services. Criticism was levied against the court system who was described as having “serious shortcomings” in their approach to such matters.
It’s estimated that 37% of the population live in poverty, below $5.50 per person, per day.