Violence to children can be prevented.

choose_lifeThe World Health Organization recently came out with a study called INSPIRE. The study outlines seven strategies for ending violence against children. This is a little bit of a read but there are some interesting strategies here, strategies that every man, woman and child can implement in their daily lives. I will point out a few.

In the preface the authors state that there is a growing public consensus that violence against children will no longer be tolerated and that it can be prevented. If all of us can accept this notion of “it can be prevented” then the resources to put a stop to it will fall into line.

How big is the problem? Over half of all children aged 2-17 have experienced violence in the last year. (pg 12)

A key factor that makes children vulnerable to violence is social tolerance of the victimization of girls and perpetration by boys and men.  Changing gender norms relating to male entitlement over girl’s and women’s is critical. (pg 16)

A few actions that every one of us can engage in to prevent violence are: create nurturing family environments, address gender inequalities in relationships, change attitudes that support violence, close the wealth gap. (pg 18)

Social programs that help change the norm around violence are: Yaari-Dosti, Coaching Boys into Men and Choices, (pg 38),  and Bringing in the Bystander. (pg 40)

Increasing parenting skills can help reduce harsh discipline up to 50%. (pg 52) Increasing life skills training for kids helps reduce violence. (pg 71)

The INSPIRE study is not intended for implementation as a new program, rather to help expand current efforts to end child violence. In that vein, becoming aware of local strategies to end child violence and supporting them can only help.

 

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