Tag Archives: Children

Despair caused by the economic crisis increases the violence against children at home

9 May
  • UNICEF and the Red Cross warn about the consequences of the evictions or the unemployment.
  • They note that the violence is also  psychological; they are victims of the distress.
  • “A social breach that perpetuates poverty has been generated in families”.


The violence against minors in the family environment is increasing because of the situations of tension and desperation that many Spanish families are living in their homes due to the economic crisis, according to an opinion shared by both experts in the judicial sector those from organizations dealing with childhood defense.

During the celebration of the conference “Economic crisis, minors and justice”, Victoria Ortega, the general secretary of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers – the representative body that controls the professional activities of lawyers  –  claimed that “although the numbers are for guidance only”, the violence against minors could have increased a 13.6 % in 2012.

Precisely, some days before the celebration of the conference, the ANAR Foundation  –  an NGO which provides help for children and teenagers at risk in Spain and Latin America  –  estimated that 1,778 children and teens have been victims of some type of serious violence in Spain during 2012 and indicated this was an increase compared to 2011.

They also stressed that physical abuse  in family environment is the first reason for the intervention of social and legal services from ANAR. It is relevant to add that in 22.5 % of the cases the abuser was the father, in 15 % the mother and in 6.3 % of them violence was exerted by both parents. If we add up these figures, pointed the ANAR program director, Benjamin Ballesteros, “we find that in 43.3 % of the cases the abusers were the people responsible for taking care and looking after the protection of minors. This is something heartbreaking.”

After the statement of the ANAR Foundation, new testimonies add new points of view to this issue. “In daily coexistence, there is a situation of tension, of desperation that unfortunately can lead to violence situations, in which minors are the weakest and most unprotected part; these are anguishing situations that families live. The lawyers’ representative considered the following: “we are not talking about an exclusively physical violence, but about distress that is transferred to the minors.”

In addition, she claimed that “the austerity imposed by public administration” was having an effect on jurisdictional protection of minors. The lawyer was sorry that “all these circumstances, as a consequence of economic crisis or of the way of facing the crisis with a policy based on austerity and cutbacks, could affect the defense of minors’ rights”. She reminded that “treatment towards minors in court must be different from the one given to adults, as in the need of psychological support and the time spent in assisting them, which should be more.”

From Unicef, the responsible for Infancy, Gabriel González Bueno, warned about “the tension at homes is causing a growth of violence suffered by children” and the “future costs originated by not intervening during the childhood.”

“Children live eviction processes, the separation of parents who have difficulties to maintain two homes and they suffer cutbacks in specialized attention because of the reduction of resources in the field of justice”, he explained. He reminded that unemployment affects twice as much in households with children:, in families with minors, in particular, it increased by 120 percent between 2007 and 2010.

“We have a very intense problem of child poverty”, Unicef representative opined. He stated that “child poverty does not depend on the wealth of nations, but on policies that are applied.”

In this sense, he regretted that benefits for children “were more expendable” during the crisis. “May it have something to dowith the fact that children do not vote?”. He also warned that in some countries with very strong economic crisis,” the juvenile delinquency grows a lot.”

The spokeswoman for Save the Children, Yolanda Roman, also agreed that “in familiar setting where high stress is experienced, violence against children increases physically and psychologically.” Carlos Chana, the project manager from the Spanish Red Cross, stressed the “social gap” which the crisis is generating and the poverty that affects two million two hundred thousand children in Spain.

“The face of minors who suffer povert,” said the manager of Red Cross, “is the face of children of unemployed people without social service or family support, minors under guardianship, immigrants, and children with a disability or with chronic illnesses, whose treatments are not covered by public health service.”

“A social gap has been created in families which will be passed on from generation to generation and it will perpetuate poverty”, he added. The coordinator of the Cermi Network for Children with Disabilities, Inés de Araoz, predicted that cuts in social assistance “will provoke the existence of more disabled children in the future.”

Source: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/04/30/espana/1367329829.html