They don’t seek justice because they are ashamed - Parents don’t want society to know that their child was sexually abused

For fear of not being blamed in society, the parents in the Republic of Moldova do not even report cases of sexual abuse against children or of domestic violence, Ombudswoman for Children’s Rights Maia Bănărescu stated in an interview with IPN.

“Judging by the recommendations coming from committees to which we are a party, our society is one in which violence is at home. We are educated in violence even if we have many laws that ban the use of violence. In the Republic of Moldova, education by beating children is recognized in families. So, everything starts from the family but this means a very violent society later. Evidently, this violence should be prevented and the role of the state and of the whole society is to intervene. We, as community, should not tolerate violence. We must be active and communicate so as to get rid of stereotypes, especially with regard to the children who are victims or witnesses to use of violence. We must have a friendly attitude and support them. The role of educational institutions here is very important,” stated Maia Bănărescu.

She noted that social services for children who need to be taken out of families in which they are abused haven’t been developed in Moldova yet. The removal of the abuser does not solve the problem. More psychological counseling and victim support services are necessary.

“In the examination of case of abuse and violence against children, it is very important to listen to the child, to subject them to psychological tests and to support them psychologically as, regardless of the gravity of cases, the abuse is a very big psychological trauma for the children. Support should be offered throughout the investigation of cases. Not only the child victim, but also the family needs support. The state developed a lot in this regard, in the observance of human rights, children’s rights. The development of child support services necessitates considerable financial resources and in this case the state has very good cooperation with nongovernmental organizations and we have a very large number of nongovernmental organizations that provide high-quality services for children,” stated Maia Bănărescu.

The Ombudswoman noted that the services prided free by the state should be of a high quality and should not be superficial.

“There are office lawyers who are trained through the agency of projects supported by international organizations and this way the child benefits from free state assistance. This is very important. Yes, the quality is different, from case to case. I met minors in Penitentiary No. 10, who said that they hadn’t known the lawyer before their meeting in the courtroom. They also said that they didn’t know they could benefit from this free service, while the parents already hired a lawyer. I met children in remand prisons whose sentence was final and they were to be transferred to Penitentiary No. 10 to serve this and they didn’t know for what and for how long they will be held there,” said Maia Bănărescu.

According to her, this points to the quality of justice. The responsibility for the results is borne by everyone, including judges, lawyers and society that should become more actively involved in the denouncing of cases of alleged injustice or should warn when no attitude is taken to a case of abuse or domestic violence.

The interview entitled “Observance of human rights in the Republic of Moldova – Injustice in cases with a powerful emotional impact: abuse, violence, torture” was conducted by IPN News Agency as part of the project “Support for the Justice Reform through multimedia coverage of cases of alleged injustice”. The video variant of the interview can be seen here.

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