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[Violence against children] : editorial

Document type: article
Download file(s): 124186 (192 KB)
Abstract: A paradox surrounds the issue of violence against children. The most severe forms of violence are generally considered more reprehensible when perpetrated against children than against adults: sexually assaulting or causing serious physical harm to a child are typically seen as the most heinous of crimes. Yet in most parts of the world, some less severe forms of violence – administered in the name of discipline – are not only considered more socially acceptable when perpetrated against children than against adults, they are seen as necessary or as the only solution to a problem. Why should we care about violence towards children? The answers from a child development perspective and a child’s rights perspective differ in emphasis. From a developmental perspective, there is ample research demonstrating the negative effects of physical and humiliating punishment on children: notably, a stunting of their creativity and capacity for initiative, loss of self-esteem and respect for authority figures, reduced capacity to communicate and form emotional bonds, and internalising the lesson that violence is an acceptable way for the powerful to solve their problems – with clear implications for society when they grow up. From a child’s rights perspective, the response is simpler: stopping violence against children is not only a means to an end, it is an end in itself.
Authors: Moreno, T. , Dongen, J. van , Wright, A.
Category: General
End Page: 5
Serial number: 106
ISSN: 1387-9553
Journal: Early Childhood Matters
Keywords: children , education , violence
Language: eng
Organization: Bernard van Leer Foundation
Year: 2006
Right: © 2006 Bernard van Leer Foundation
Subject: Education, Science and Technology
Start Page: 3
Title: [Violence against children] : editorial