Being the victim of a crime is the biggest fear among British children, a report by the Children’s Society has revealed.
The report surveyed 3,000 children between the ages of 10 and 17 and their parents. It found that two in five teenagers worry about anti-social behavior and other crimes in their neighborhoods.
The Children’s Society used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to determine how many people out of the population as a whole are affected by the concerns raised in the survey.
The data show that the level of happiness among children has reached its lowest since 2010, with more than one million children facing at least seven serious problems in their life, including crime, domestic violence and bereavement.
“It cannot be acceptable that so many children and young people in this country are experiencing serious problems that are leaving them unhappy,” the Good Childhood Report 2017 said.
“It is only possible to improve the wellbeing of children and young people across the country by correctly resourcing and prioritizing the services which help children before they hit crisis point.”
Girls were the worst affected, as those reporting low well-being rose by 52 percent between 2009-10 and 2014-15. By contrast, reports of boys being unhappy rose by only three percent in the same period.
One in three girls expressed fear of being followed by a stranger, while one in four boys said they are afraid of being assaulted.
An estimated 2.1 million teenagers said they are worried about their parents’ financial situation.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: “Teenagers are coming under pressure in all areas of their lives, whether it’s being afraid to walk down their street, worrying about money, or having a parent who’s seriously unwell and this is damaging their well-being.
“Sadly we know many of these teenagers will only get help if they reach crisis point – such as running away from home, or abusing alcohol or drugs.”
Accounts given to the charity include that of a teenage girl who said she was concerned about men beeping, whistling, shouting and stopping vans next to her.
Another 13-year-old boy said: “You’ve got to fight to, like, kind of survive around this area. You have to stick up for yourself the whole time.”