Beating is still popular “educational measure “for children in MacedoniaTuesday, 25 November 2008
In Macedonia the opinion that the beating is useful educational measure is still overwhelming; while the parents, relatives, and teachers quite often do not restrain themselves from beating in order “to teach child a lesson”.
Beating of the children in most cases is not reported and is left unsanctioned though according to the information of the First children’s Embassy”Megashi” the violence over the young has been rapidly increasing. Out of 251 calls on the SOS phone for young and children in Megashi, 2.5% are regarding abuse and violence of children. Last year the percentage is 13.4%
-Most often the beating and maltreating of the children has been reported but the parents, adults, tutors, and rarely by the children themselves, says Gordana Zmijanac, pedagogue in Megashi.
Parents do not want to beat the children but it happens most often when they’re under stress and can not control themselves. Beating is not a successful way that will teach children on good behavior, but on contrary it teaches them on aggression, produce resistance and contributes to weakening of the relation between the parent and the child, points out Zmijanac
In the west Eupean countries, especially in Scandinavian countries beating or maltreating of the children is sanctioned most strictly, even with taking away their custody over the children. This problem is regulated by law in Macedonia, but the problem is implementation.
With the law for protection of the children, the psychological and physical maltreating of the children is forbidden, as well as other inhuman behaviors. But it is actually not defied what is psychological and what is psychological maltreating, and except for fees no other punishments are foreseen for persons who have conducted that kind of violence over children. The Family law foresees Ban on every kind of violence between the members of the family regardless of the age and gender. One of the measurements to protect the children victims of family violence is extracting the bully from the family and his accommodation in the Councils. The main role at taking measures in cases of family violence regarding children, have the centers for social work. According to their practical work, up to now, they mostly ask the bully no to threat, if it necessary to be subject of medical care, not to come near the home and the school and not to communicate with the members of the family. It is alarming that centers in most of the cases have no information about the effects of the taken measurements. The greatest problem in handling this kind of cases is not in the law regulative, but in the lack of resources at the centers for social work, lack of skilled social workers, and absence of refugees for the children victims of violence. In these conditions the children are forced to stay with their parents even when they are beaten and maltreated by them.
According to Megashi, teachers or persons dealing with other professions relating to education of children who have abused their function and have maltreated or sexually abused a child should have their license taken. Another problem is the lack of system for treatment of the victim in cases when the victim asks for help, is that the wandering from one to another institution may be additional trauma.
Though child beating is criminal act, there is no evidence how many people have actually been punished for the same.
The researches of the national prosecutor have shown that despite that there is no separate registration for children victims of family violence, the centers rarely ask passing temporary measurements, the courts are acting very slowly and often ask for withdrawal of the claims because of lack of law conditions for passing temporary measurements.
The trauma, emotional and physical injury, phobia, social exclusion and other problems that the children have, which are consequence of the family violence, according to pedagogues should be subject of national program with measurements and activities in all fields aiming at organized realization of system for protection of the children.
In order to encourage the parents, neighbors, relatives and closest not to remain silent on the violence and to report it, “Megashi” began the campaign “See, hear, say” which motto is “Parents who beat their children want to hide it”. All cases of violence over children may be reported on the free SOS phone line 0800 1 2222.
Translated by Biljana Stefanovska