Stop child abuse!

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It’s said that there are two generations of children who suffered domestic violence or sexual abuse, endured loneliness and abandonment, and lived through the psychological anguish of parent’s divorce. The first generation is supposedly people born in the 1990s whose parents had left them to grow up in loneliness as they were busy trying to make a living after the democratic transition. Now, they’ve become adults and parents themselves. Many of them are working abroad, entrusting their children to their family or relatives and creating the second generation of ill-treated and lonely children. These children who are growing up in the absence of their parents without a proper place they can call home are more likely to commit crimes or abuse than children who grew up showered with parental love, according to researchers. It’s apparently common for people who suffered a rough childhood to inflict the same pain they went through to their own children.

We’ve heard countless untimely deaths of children who succumbed to violence and pain. Before it’s too late, the governments, public and private organizations and mothers and fathers need to work together to prevent more child deaths and stop children’s bad behavior before it turns to criminal acts from the first indication. However, more results will be seen if parents take it upon themselves to help their children become righteous with the correct mindset instead of relying on the government. Rather than scolding their child who shows up with bruises and pours salt on their wound, mothers and fathers should try to calmly ask their child what happened to them.

There are countless parents who tell their child to fight back if someone bullies them. This actually fuels children to become violent and aggressive, according to experts. It can also lead them to become used to violent behavior and not feel guilty when they inflict pain to others.

Moreover, films and arts and cultural performances constantly glamorize violence to a certain degree. For instance, many of the dramas and films showing on TV portray betrayal, revenge, and brutality. They make it seem like revenge is necessary to bring justice. This is something the media and arts and cultural sector needs to pay attention to in the future as children, especially teenagers, are likely to be influenced by whatever they see on TV and the internet.

Whether your child grows into a confident “correct” adult with the socially approved mindset or a violent adult or a socially inept individual who is pessimistic and introverted depends on how parents treat their children. Parents are supposed to be role models for their children and lead them to the right path but by failing to do so, their children suffer the consequences.

There are fathers who flaunt the money they find on streets and mothers who say they’re so lucky because they got more change than they were supposed to from the supermarket. Family researchers noted this is a type of violence and a curse than luck. Because of this, children don’t report to the police when they find a wallet on the street, don’t give back the extra change, and ruin their character, an expert says. Apparently, it’s common for children to spend the money they acquired through underhanded methods to play at gaming centers or go to bars.

A recent study conducted by the United Nations in 57 countries suggested 11 percent of violence victims report to a legal body. Mongolian victims hardly report to the police, according to local nongovernment organizations for victims, and if they do, they are subjected to even more abuse. An expert said that children who witnessed or experienced any kind of crime or violence approach the police first and the police take the child to the court hospital to check for criminal behavior. However, the National Institute for Court Analysis exempted the 10,000 MNT fee charged for one-time health checkup of child victims, not fees for other healthcare services. Children who claim to have been sexually abused by a relative needs to get a DNA test, which costs 100,000 MNT at the hospital. Other relevant services cost 5,000 MNT and 8,000 MNT. This type of crime involves many organizations which all come with various tariffs. Ultimately, there are many victims who aren’t able to get their case resolved. A proof of this is the differences in the statistics of legal bodies.

For example, the number of reports made to the National Institute for Court Analysis is always higher than those made to the police. Data at the police and prosecutor’s office are different too. The court receives much fewer cases of violence and abuse than all of these organizations. Data of all of these legal bodies need to be inspected to pinpoint the problem and find possible solution.

In an effort to change this system, the Mongolian Gender Equality Center has started a new study. The center is researching if cases registered at the police go to the prosecutor’s office or the court hospital, is able to make it to court, is resolved, and if dismissed, for what reason it is dismissed.

Overall, the first step to ending child abuse and violence is started by mothers and fathers and then, requires the support from the government and public and private sector. The most effective way would be for parents to pay more attention to their child, raise them with love and care and protect them from harm.

What do experts think?

Here are some comments from specialists who work with children and families about possible ways to reduce and ultimately end child violence.

‘I hope there are more  responsible families’

O.Gansukh, social worker of Mongen Complex School

Team leaders of our school’s child development section surveys and analyzes characteristics of every student at the start of the school year. Since Mongen charges a tuition fee, it’s rare to have students with difficult and poor life. Therefore, we haven’t encountered any child who’s experiencing violence or requires attention yet. Hitting, scolding and other actions using force are considered violence against children. Parents need to talk and have an open relationship with children, take care of them, and create an amicable environment for studying. Divorce, bad family relations, and quick-tempered parents can cause negative psychological influence on children. Therefore, it’s important to be fair and responsible for your child and be a model family for your child’s sake.

‘Stop pressuring your child to attend extra classes’

S.Tungalag, specialist at the Ulaanbaatar Family, Child and Youth Development Agency

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 1,417 reports connected to child violence. The majority were domestic violence. Around 70 percent of reports were made by a neighbor, khoroo staff, or a third party, which is good. The majority of child victims have a father and in some cases a mother who is alcoholic and/ or unemployed. This negatively affects the child.

We’ve focused on improving the livelihood of vulnerable families by providing a home, clothes, food and other necessities. However, we noticed that if the mother or wife isn’t well-educated, providing materialistic support isn’t as effective. Hence, we partnered with NGOs and started organizing workshops and intensified psychological care services.

In short, the foremost important work for eliminating child violence is enhancing people’s education and knowledge and improving their livelihood.

We observed that excessively pressuring children to do certain things is also a form of violence. Telling children to study hard, go to many extracurricular classes, become a doctor or lawyer or whatever professional can all become burdens to children and pressure them.

‘432 violence cases were reported’

J.Baasanjargal, senior police officer at the First Police Department of Bayangol District

Not caring about your child and not spending enough time with them is a form of child abuse. Under such conditions, children are more likely to commit crime, become misbehaved, and form bad habits. Most importantly, provide care that is suitable to your child’s age and avoid spoiling them or being too harsh on them.

Children are a reflection of their parents. Children will become a good person or go astray depending on how well of a role model a parent can be to their child. The first unknit to prevent all types of crimes against children is the family. The warm family relationship, parental love, and family financial state affect children’s future.

Since the beginning of this year, 432 cases of child violence and violation of child rights were reported. Due to these crimes, 15 children died and 144 children were injured. We’re taking all necessary actions as soon as possible.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan