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Children to grow up without violence

NIKŠIĆ, 19 April 2017 – Nikšić is another municipality to have joined the “End Violence” campaign initiated by the Government of Montenegro and UNICEF with a view to promoting and spreading positive parenting practices.

Public talk about children and parents organized in Nikšić within the #EndViolence campaign in April 2017 - UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic/2017 

The public discussion organized in Nikšić, in cooperation with the municipality and with the support from the EU and Telenor Foundation, was an opportunity to remind of the results of the research conducted by UNICEF in late 2016.

One in two citizens of Montenegro consider physical punishment of children acceptable and do not see shouting as violence. A third of the respondents find a slap in the face and threats to be acceptable parenting practices. Every fourth respondent claims that blackmailing is not a form of violence.

UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks warned that violence and neglect lead to a situation where children lose confidence in their parents.

“Adverse experience is often passed from a parent to a child in an endless inter-generational cycle of violence, as parents often repeat the mental model inherited from childhood without being aware of the damage they cause”, said Perks, adding that the consequences of poor parenting are felt not only by the family, but by the whole society as well.

For this reason, the Municipality of Nikšić has recognized its role in combating violence against children.

“In order for children to respect themselves and others, we need to provide them with the opportunity to grow up without violence”, said the Mayor of Nikšić Veselin Grbović.

Citizens of Nikšić participating in the public talk on parenting organized within the #EndViolence campaign in April 2017 - UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic/2017

Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and a friend of the “End Violence” campaign Goran Barović warned that children could respond to physical punishment by resorting to violence themselves.

“The use of force by the parent is exercised from the position of power. We need to be aware that this position of power changes over time. Could this mean that the child will use the same principle once it grows up, retaliating against those who sanctioned him as a child?”, asked Barović.

Ranka Božović from the NGO “Association of Psychologists” warned that psychological violence and neglect leave even deeper consequences than the physical one.

Representative of the Association of Psychologists Ranka Božović speaking at the public talk about parenting in Nikšić in April 2017 - UNICEF Montenegro/Dusko Miljanic/2017 

“The difference is obvious between children who grow up with embarrassment and humiliation and those who grow up in a supporting environment”, said Božović, adding that it is necessary to develop services that would promote positive parenting practices.

One such service is the national SOS hotline for parents, established by the NGO “Parents” with UNICEF’s support. Executive Director of this organization Kristina Mihailović invited parents to use the advice of experts and resolve any dilemmas about parenting by dialling 080 888 888. She underlined that all calls to this SOS line for parents are free of charge and available every working day from 4pm to 8 pm.



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