Violence confronts children at every level of society–in their relationships with parents and siblings, in the home, at school, and in the media and values that dominate their nation.

  • Hitting, punching, kicking are forms of violence.
  • Humiliation is a form of violence.
  • Poverty, discrimination, and the denial of opportunities are forms of violence.

How do we end these?

Laws do not solve all problems, but laws against corporal punishment—as have been enacted in many Western European and other nations—send a message and set a standard for parenting behavior.

Education does not solve all problems, but citizen education concerning alternatives to corporal punishment and psychological maltreatment can contribute to the development of healthier environments in which children can learn and play without constant fear of  harm from others.

Efforts at social reform are not always successful. Yet recognition and commitment to social justice, equal opportunity, and equal protection will increase the likelihood that children can be provided with enough food to eat, safety to survive, and opportunity to become positive contributors to society.

You can help in each of these areas. How?

  • Find positive ways to deal with your own inevitable anger and frustration when you feel disappointed with the people you love and/or for whom you feel responsible.
  • Be aware of and responsive to what is going on in local schools in your community. Is bullying widespread? Is anything being done about it? Do children have safe places to play?
  • Listen to leaders at the neighborhood, state, and national level. What agendas do they promote—equal opportunity and social justice? Or the rights of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else? Listen, learn, and decide what will contribute most to healthy environments for all children. Then take action.

To learn more, please watch “A mission to end child abuse.”

Kathie Malley-Morrison, Professor of Psychology, Boston University

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Tags: against, bullying, children|, corporal, discrimination, equal, justice, opportunity, poverty, punishment, More…social, violence


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