Should children be mentally protected? Why

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Psychological violence is the most common form of violence. Many children experience it every day, it is brought about consciously but just as often unintentionally. Psychological violence is always part of every other form of violence, namely neglect, mistreatment, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation; Children experience psychological violence even when they are not the direct target of violence in the family.

What is psychological violence?

Attempt at a definition

Psychological violence is ...

  • when children are willfully scared.
  • when children are intimidated, marginalized, isolated.
  • when children are mocked or the mockery is exposed.
  • when children are disregarded and devalued.
  • when children are made small, kept small and devalued.
  • when children are deliberately discouraged.
  • when children are brought up with pressure and oppression.
  • when there are no limits to children.
  • when parents refuse their children orientation and evade their responsibility towards their children.
  • if the punishment is carried out at a time when the child no longer knows what he has done and cannot see the punishment as a consequence of his or her actions.
  • when children have to do what their parents would have always wanted to do, when children are, so to speak, forced to live with their parents.
  • when feelings of helplessness and defenseless surrender are triggered and the child's understanding of himself and the world is shaken.
  • if children are abused as a plaything for the interests of the respective parent, e.g. in the course of a divorce,
  • when the best interests of the child are deliberately and consciously protected in order to enforce or promote their own interests.
  • when children are exposed to conflicts of loyalty between parents.
  • when the parents' behavior is more important than their own person.
  • quietly. It is not loud. It's not spectacular, but it's long-lasting, it's persistent, and it's lasting.

Psychological violence is also ...

  • wherever fear is used as an educational tool.
  • not just neglect, it can also be an excess of suffocating love.
  • much more difficult to detect than physical violence as it does not leave any visible scars on the body.
  • so elusive because it is experienced individually and its effect is often not recognizable or assessable from the outside.
  • to be understood and viewed subjectively; the subjective experience of the child, his emotional, existential feeling is in the foreground.
  • an "unpleasant" topic because this phenomenon is elusive, "doesn't want to be defined" precisely, eludes scientific analysis and forces us to deal with many topics that we don't really like to look at.

Psychological violence ...

  • is caused by all actions and omissions of parents and caregivers, which frighten children, overwhelm them, give them the feeling of their own worthlessness and can impair their psychological and / or physical development.
  • "Happens" often actually without malicious intent.
  • is perceived differently; What is still fun for one person can mean injury, devaluation, and wounding for the other.
  • can arise from the fact that parents pass on the pressure they are exposed to in society, work, etc. to their children.
  • can also be exercised through well-intentioned offers of help.
  • arises and exists where children and young people are exposed to a dynamic of “too much” or “too little” and the existential needs of children have no place.
  • manifests itself where children cannot or are not allowed to find any language or form of expression in experiences that are difficult for them.
  • occurs not only alone, but mostly also as the “silent sister” of all other forms of violence

(Results of two inquiries by the Ministry of Family Affairs on the subject of psychological violence against children, BMSG (ed.), Vienna 2000)

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