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Abused children should not suffer in silence, psychologist
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17:14, 27 Jun 2018

Domestic violence can have serious consequences  and the victim can be anyone, particularly the women and children. Psychologist Lidia Gorceag, requested by IPN to explain, said domestic violence can have a number of forms. When the child is beaten, pushed, pinched or pulled by the hair, this is physical abuse. Emotional abuse seems to be milder or less painful, but a lot of children say they would prefer a slap instead of being insulted, criticized or named with humiliating words, especially by the parents. The abuse, both physical and emotional, can lead to lower self-esteem and lack of trust in oneself. These children often become anxious and aggressive and fail to establish trustworthy relations with persons they meet in their life.

Sexual abuse, especially between the ages of 10 and 15, is the most difficult and most spread form of abuse against children. The aggressors can include parents’ partners, brothers, uncles, grandparents and even the biological parents. Negative consequences can appear not only immediately after abuse, but also later, in youth, when the persons abused in childhood encounter difficulties in establishing a trustworthy relationship with the partner and, respectively in forming a family, said the psychologist

Lidia Gorceag noted many mothers went abroad to work and left their children in the care of relatives, who are not always attentive to the needs of the child and do not detect behavioral changes on time and do not intervene to anticipate and prevent situations of risk. In the violent families, including verbally-violent or where alcohol is abused, the child also becomes vulnerable. When the parents quarrel daily, they destroy not only their relationship, but also the child’s emotional balance as the children live any moment, any blow as an own pain. Consequently, the child can develop feelings of guilt, underappreciation, shame and even hatred toward parents.

In all the cases of abuse, psychological or psycho-therapy is recommended because the child’s reaction to abuse is very varied. This depends on the child’s nervous system, the environment or the support offered to him. If a parent is abusive and the other parent can help the child overcome the consequences of abuse or offer him confidence and love, it is easier for the child. When both of the parents are violent, the situation is more serious and the child needs support from outside the family. The children who are physically, emotionally or sexually abused or the neglected children who are not fed, dressed and, most important, loved should not suffer in silence. They should seek help from a reliable person, such as a relative, a neighbor, a teacher, a psychologist, a priest, a doctor or a social assistant whom they can tell that they suffer because of violence.

Daniela Samboteanu, head of the National Child Abuse Prevention Center, said both the parents and children should have particular general knowledge so as to build reliable relations. The prevention of abuse depends on the type of violence to which the child can be subject. For example, in the case of the shaken baby syndrome, which appears during the first weeks of life and is a form of physical abuse by which a child is shaken violently, serious damage can be caused to the brain. The parents should be informed about the consequences by seminars, TV programs, brochures and leaflets. As to the sexual abuse prevention activities, these should start from the preschool age. The parents should know how to communicate with children and how to develop particular abilities. Also, the institutions attended by the children should contribute to gaining these skills.

In the context of the strategy adopted by the Government, a number of measures are taken to prevent child abuse. Under an inter-sector instruction on the prevention of situations of risk, all the specialists dealing with the protection of children should carry out activities to prevent violence against children. There were adopted several documents that regulate the prevention of abuse, but these are inappropriately implemented owing to the lack of funds. Also, high-quality activities to prevent child abuse cannot be implemented without allocations from the state budget or the budgets of local public authorities, noted Daniela Samboteanu.

According to official data, of the over 4,000 cases of abuse of all types recorded in 2017, 1,400 were cases of child abuse.

Diana Busuioc, IPN

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