Public discussion on parent-child relations in Berane
According to the UNICEF survey conducted in late 2016, one in two Montenegrin citizens believe that physical punishment of children is acceptable
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BERANE, 10 April 2017 – According to the UNICEF survey conducted in late 2016, one in two Montenegrin citizens believe that physical punishment of children is acceptable and that shouting at children is not violence.
Such a high degree of tolerance to violence prompted the organization of public talks with parents and professionals in all Montenegrin municipalities within the End Violence campaign, initiated by UNICEF and the Government of Montenegro with support from the EU and Telenor Foundation. The events, which gather municipal representatives, professionals and parents, are meant to identify the local services required to promote and support positive parenting practices.
The first public discussion in the northern region of the country took place in Berane.
At the event, the Mayor of Berane Dragoslav Scekic said that they could not keep silent about violence against children.
"We are here today to send a clear and loud message that victims of violence must not fall victims to our silence and disregard. Domestic violence is not something that a child should feel ashamed about, but a problem of the society, and one that should be discussed. When we discuss it, it is no longer a taboo, we make it visible and make room for essential and durable changes”, Scekic said.
UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks underlined that parents have right to get support to be the best parents possible adding that positive parenting facilitated prosperity and social development.
We are here also because we claim that, with adequate support available, positive parenting can be mastered and all the harmful practices changed. Parents have the right to enjoy effective parenting support.
Representative of the NGO “Psychologists’ Association” Mila Barjaktarovic Jelic invited parents, local government, school representatives and UNICEF to work together to raise awareness about the adverse effects that violence has on child psychological and physical development and to support each parent in shifting to alternative methods. “There are people who are willing to change and grow together with their children,” Jelic concluded.
According to UNICEF survey conducted immediately before the End Violence campaign, Montenegro’s parents are willing to stop with inadequate parenting routines. As many as 77 per cent of the respondents thought that the state should provide parents with training on positive parenting.