How to react when a child is beaten?

Expert : Nicholas Garin, Clinical Psychologist and Volunteer of the “Enforce at Parties” Association.

Every five days, in France, a child dies from a parental injury. It represents about 60 to 70 children per year. An intolerable situation that condemns, indirectly, the importance of the number of abused children, on a daily basis. Whether children are beaten, raped, harassed, insulted or neglected, it is important to respond when we witness abuse of the most vulnerable. Associations such as “Enforce at Parties” provide a complete arsenal of tools to prevent, report, and support victims and those close to them. Abused children, For whom the consequences of this action are dramatic. And there are multiple ways to identify and prevent these exceptional serious situations from happening again.

What is child abuse?

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child (CIDE), proclaimed by the United Nations on November 20, 1989, and the fundamental rights of the child ratified by France in 1990 are defined by Article 54. Among them, “protected from violence, abuse and all forms of abuse and exploitation”, but also “being treated, protected from disease, having adequate and balanced nutrition”. Where to do Child abuseHow to spot them?

Child abuse, definition

When faced with violence, child abuse can take many forms. “In fact, we must distinguish between physical, emotional and sexual violence and extreme neglect. These are the four types of violence defined within the framework of the law ”, explains Nicholas Garin. Among violence against children, a term that is increasingly used to define child abuse, also refers to harassment (on the Internet with school or social networks) and domestic violence. Every year 143,000 children witness domestic violence, 42% of whom are under 6 years of age (source: Enfance et Partage). And the abuse begins when the child’s basic needs: staying safe, eating, being alert to harassment, and using social networks are not respected.

What is the cause of child abuse?

There is no legitimate reason to justify any kind of violence against a child, whatever its form. “We only know that certain situations can exacerbate abuse or trigger spanking, for example. This is the case when the parent cannot alleviate his anger or when, at times, he or she is abused himself and their access to other educational or ethical methods. No, “Nicholas Garin noted.

Which child is abused?

A child may be a victim of violence:

– A child who is the victim of any misconduct that could affect his or her health or physical integrity (for example, a child who has had a child with convulsive syndrome, or a victim of sexual mutilation),
– A child who is despised, abused and / or on whom we exert a kind of psychological influence,
– A young child who is left alone at home for more or less a long time: his basic need for safety is not so certain,
– A child is emotionally neglected, or on his or her basic needs: such as food, sleep, health, for example.
– Exposure to domestic violence, a form of serious emotional violence,
– When slapping or slapping is used, it is a form of violence prohibited by law and which is classified as General Educational Violence (VEO). “It can happen, in the moment of nervousness, the child is slapped or slapped, but it should not be normal. There are other child-rearing and authority strategies that are not based on the fear of being beaten, ”said Nicholas Garin.

What are the symptoms of child abuse?

Physical abuse is the easiest to detect because it leaves scars on the baby’s body, whatever the wound, bump or sores and burns. On the other hand, moral violence is more subtle and difficult to identify … In any case, it is a question of a child’s danger.

Children in danger, how to identify them?

If one is not a direct witness to a scene of violence against a child, or does not see signs of violence on the body of a beaten child, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose the danger. “Children are not able to verbally describe their suffering and realize that their guardian, who is their educator and their model by definition, is not working like them to keep them safe,” the psychologist explains. Symptoms of abuse can still be seen thanks to a few indicators such as:

– Physical symptoms of discomfort: “When the child is unable to express his discomfort, the body speaks with abdominal pain, headaches, dermatitis …”, Nicholas Garin notes.

Consequences of abuse

“It’s only at the age of 5 to 7, when the child is old enough to compare his condition with that of other children, that he can express his grief, his discomfort and his pain if he feels confident and he finds in himself. It should be noted that the child is constantly evolving. When he or she is abused, his or her confidence in the world and his or her relationship with the outside world is disrupted, which leads to fear and withdrawal, leading to potential problems, as we have presented above, “the psychologist added. Does.

What to do in case of abuse?

When one witnesses or suspects violence against a child (even without being sure), one does not have to sit idly by, the child is in danger. Even if we are not directly concerned about it, we must report it to the child protection services or agencies in our department that are responsible for disseminating the information.

Report of abused child, beaten child

How can child abuse be stopped? How to identify a child in danger? At first the silence was broken. “The law requires us to report any information related to the safety or well-being of the child. To testify, you can go to the departmental council (address available on the Internet) unit to collect CRIP information in your department. Names of children or family members, first names and contact details and observations should indicate information or suspicions. The department then decides to continue an investigation to assess the veracity of the information, especially when several testimonies overlap. But when you fear retaliation by condemning bad behavior, you can also give an anonymous testimony or go to an association dedicated to child protection, such as “Enfance et Partage”, which will take care of reporting violence in your place, “explains Nicholas Garin.

What number would you call if a child was beaten?

– If you witness a child abuse situation, The calling number is 119. As explained above, you can contact the services of the (Crip) department for concerns such as Child Welfare (ASE) or the collection unit. More info: Department Services

– In the context of sexual violence or serious abuse, contact the public prosecutor directly by mail: In exceptional cases, the juvenile judge may intervene himself.

Good to know: The report may be anonymous, by mail or telephone.

Attention, 3 years imprisonment and if not condemn the situation of abuse and misconduct 45,000 Fines, the same applies to false information (up to 5 years in prison and 45,000 Fine).

Other contact numbers:

– Stop Abuse: 0800 05 12 34 (Anonymous and free toll-free number of Enforce at Parts Association, Monday 10am to 6pm Friday)
– Allô Parent Babe: 0800 00 34 56. Parental Assistance).

Can you file a complaint against the parents of an abused child?

What do you do when you witness a scene of serious violence against a child? “You have to report it to the prosecutor. In the most severe cases, the latter may order the immediate placement of the baby in one Host family Where he will be safe through a Temporary Placement Order (OPP), “explained N. Garin.

In the case of child placement

In the most severe cases, the juvenile judge can actually decide on the measure of employment for 2 years, renewable once or more if the family situation requires it.

However, this measure does not remove parental authority. Parents will be able to get the right to visit and bear the cost of caring for their child, unless the judge decides otherwise.

  • The victim himself: If his parents are involved in the violence, a third party may be appointed by the court. The latter will be responsible for claiming compensation on behalf of the child.
  • An association of seniors over 5 years of age specializes in the defense of victims. This entity can file a complaint with a civil action In this case, the process must be initiated by the prosecutor in advance or a complaint from the victim must be followed.

What support for a child victim of abuse?

Following reports of abuse, it is the Child Welfare Service (ASE) that can intervene at home to assess the severity of the situation. Following this test, several administrative security measures may be proposed:

– Promoted inspections with an educator or social worker to establish a dialogue with the family to make sure the child is safe. “These visits are so essential for the child who has to give weight to his or her words, as for parents who are sometimes overwhelmed by the situation,” the expert explained.

– If one of the parents is violent towards one or the other child, for example, in the context of separation, an intermediary visit may be organized in the third place in the presence of an educator or social worker. “It is important not to break the bond with the child and to re-establish the relationship. Of course, it can be difficult for other parents to accept this painful conflict, ”the expert noted.

– A psychological follow-up: which allows the child to express himself, listen and legitimize his emotions and feelings in the face of violence and which carries meaning for him. “This follow-up allows him to continue to grow and develop considering his story and that violence is not the only answer to his needs,” the psychologist explains.

When you are tired, excited, annoyed, it is important to know how to keep yourself away from your anger so that you do not change into behaviors that you may regret. “Parents can ask for their own help. You, as a person, can decide to stay with psychologically if you question yourself about your behavior. It is about gaining communication other than violence, to explain why one is not happy and why one should respect established rules. It is important to keep oneself away from one’s emotions, because parental authority must not be abusive, it must be neutral and kind, and one must be able to postpone one’s initial response, “the psychologist concluded.

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