Violence against children is any kind of behavior or attitude that endangers a child or puts his or her emotional, physical, or mental welfare at risk, consequently causing an interruption or delay in the normal process of his or her progress.

The main types of violence against children are physical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and neglect and abandonment. Violence against children has especially dangerous consequences because children can’t leave the premises where they are being harmed due to their minor age and their lack of social and physical maturity. Even saying there is a problem is difficult for children because they do not want to betray the adults who are close to them. The consequences of violence are felt in the short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Children who have been violated feel these consequences for their entire life.

The physical-health consequences of violence against children can include brain damage, fractures, burns, damage to different organs, etc. The psychological consequences can be related to behavior disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, disorientation, loss of ability to react to environmental stimulation, difficulties in communication with other people, dangerous behaviors for society, anxiety, and depression.

Violence against children can be conducted by parents, older sisters and brothers, teachers or friends at school, custodians or older members of the community where they live. It can also result from images and verbal messages in the media.

Here is one such situation: Adi, age 15, is afraid of being at home. He can’t wait until the sunrise so he can go to school, because he doesn’t want to listen his parents fighting each other and his father kicking his mother any time he is drunk. His father drinks a lot. Adi wants to be protected so he goes to the room of his brother, who is three years older than him. But their father becomes very angry and kicks them out of the room, injuring them. Last time he pushed Adi so hard that he crashed into the wall. School is the only place where Adi can find peace. His friends don’t know anything about his family problems and at school he can pretend that everything is how it should be and how he would like it to be.

Prepared by:

Arjeta Alibali