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Every fourth child in Moldova beaten by parents

© UNICEF/MOL//Cristina Putuntica/2006

Data are part of a study launched by the Moldovan Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Protection and UNICEF

Chisinau, 21 February 2008 – One fourth of the Moldovan children say they are beaten by their own parents. This is one of the outcomes of the survey “Violence against children in the Republic of Moldova”, launched at the end of February. The study was carried out by Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child and of the Ministry of Education and Youth, with the support of the UNICEF Moldova. According to the survey, 13% of the interviewed children mentioned that the teachers at school applied corporal punishment towards them. If we add all the children who experienced violence or aggression of any type together, they would fill in over 400 schools of the existing 1500 in Moldova.

Of the interviewed children 15% either lack food, feel that nobody takes care of them or lack communication with their parents. One fifth of the children declared they suffer of verbal violence, while 10% of the parents admitted they emotionally or psychologically abuse their children.

"Children see beating as normal"
“Adults must change their perceptions. Children are brought up to perceive beating as normal and well-deserved punishment”, mentioned the UNICEF representative in Moldova, Ray Virgilio Torres. ”Many women and children victims do not report acts of domestic violence because they are afraid to do so, they do not know where to go for help and what the reporting procedures are. Some feel ashamed or guilty”, added Mr. Torres. 

The same study showed that the big difference between urban regions and rural ones, where it is considered that the number of cases of violence is bigger, is, in fact, a myth.  In reality, there is almost no difference between cities and villages, as well as between families with different level of education, material wealth etc.

The prevention and stopping of violence towards children and women represents a priority for the actions of the Government of the Republic of Moldova and UNICEF.

“We are conscious of the fact that violence towards children remains to be a current problem for the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, we intend to develop a strong system, capable to identify cases of violence and offer necessary support and protection to children and women who are victims or are subject to the risk of violence”, declared the Deputy Minister of Social Protection,  Family and Children, Lucia Gavriliţă. “The professionals working with and for children and family should be well trained; community services shall be created and developed. With UNICEF Moldova support, this year we are planning to organize special seminars for all social assistants in the country, who are going to be trained how to trace out and act correctly in cases of abuse against children,”  said Lucia Gavriliţă.

© UNICEF/MOL//Oleg Roibu/2006

“Violence free schools”
As an answer to the results of the two reports, the Ministry of Education and Youth and UNICEF Moldova launched a National Project "Violence-free schools” within a press conference that took place on February 21. The project shall cover all the 1500 schools from the country and will ensure an educational partnership between children, parents and teachers.

“It is important, on one hand, to help children learn about non-violent communication and develop abilities of peaceful settlement of conflicts, and, on the other hand, help the teachers learn how to educate and discipline children without applying physical or psychological punishment,” declared the Minister of Education and Youth, Victor Tvircun at the press conference.

The project "Violence-free schools” includes more activities, among which the development of a training for teachers on positive and non-violent disciplining, special hours on violence issues in all schools, publication of some booklets for children, informational seminars for the didactical staff and administration of educational institutions etc.

For more information:

Lina Botnaru, UNICEF Moldova Media Officer
Tel. (+ 373 22) 220045




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