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A policy to violence against children look at Spain

Last 26 June 2014 Congress finally approved the creation of a subcommittee to study violence against children in Spain. That same day I published several tweets followed in my personal account @pepahorno, I will use to lead the content of this post. The transcribe literally allowing me here, that I have not the space bounded by the number of characters in the tweets, add the items and do not use abbreviations.

It read:

(1) Crean subcommittee in Congress for the study of violence against children in Spain. I still remember the first paper on the subject in Congress, 2006 was…

(2) Welcome is, but children's issues are always times too long. Why be…?

(3) Is the protection of children is a matter of political mileage? It is a legal obligation, plus one of the measures of the value of a company.

(4) Already at that time MPs said the figures we took were too hard, he had to do something, that would create a commission…

(5) So on days like today I get to remember and reaffirm that there are struggles worthwhile.

As I said I was wrong in a really. It was the year 2006, was the 24 June 2005. Unicef organized a conference to mark the UN Study on Violence against Children in Congress, to which I was invited as a speaker, representing the work done in that time Save the Children. My role was to give an overview and Members of the forms of violence more severe and more common against children, and adolescents that occurred in Spain. Many who were by then we had years working to prevent and eradicate this problem (many of us continue in our work and commitment has joined the many other) and representatives of almost all political groups in the Congress then.

It's been nine years. And as I explained in my last tweet 's struggles worthwhile. The social sensitivity to the suffering of children in our country today is incomparably greater then, institutional recognition of the seriousness of the problem significantly more evident and some of the problems that I mentioned in my then absent phenomena even exposure of the public and political debate today are part of it, such as child victims of trafficking in Spain, denied the existence of many institutions at the time, o los child victims of gender violence they were not even recognized institutional, social, politically and legally as such at the time.

But, while recognizing the undeniable progress made in recent years: legislative developments, institutional and social, it is clear that violence against children is still not politically prioritized with the urgency that should a problem of this magnitude. More so is that the State is the ultimate guarantor of the protection of these children, and adolescents. Of those who they can not defend themselves, and depend on the consistency and courage of those who are in a position to make the necessary decisions to protect.

So if there will be a commission, finally if it is true that members of Congress and will conduct a study on conditions on the dimension of pain that thousands of children living in our country, then I want to expose some of the aspects that I most serious and urgent to address. I do it for personal coherence and thus can contribute to the debate and the work of the subcommittee and the policy decisions that can be derived from it. Because that is: achieve a political view on this issue. A political view that involves consciousness and commitment and prevent keep looking the other way when it comes to the suffering of those who can not always speak and certainly can not vote.

As I said in the 2005 to Members, the problems that I chose to expose were not the only, Nor are these the only data on violence against children in Spain that can occur, but I think that is the data that we can ignore the.

1. Most children who suffer violence, and adolescents in our country live in family environment. In recent years there has been much studied phenomena as bullying or child sexual exploitation, but statistics and research is continuing: violence perpetrated against children in Spain who exerted the most part children know and love, your family or a close or intimate setting. There are mostly unknown or criminal networks.

2. Violence against children, and adolescents in our country is not an immigration issue. There is a belief that most offenders and abusers are adults of foreign nationality, but it is not. They are Spanish citizens.

3. You need to visualize boys victims of violence. There is a deep-rooted belief in society, but also among professionals, that most victims of violence are girls. But, except in the case of child sexual abuse (and even then there was much to talk about it) this belief is not accurate. It is necessary to visualize the violence experienced by boys and develop specific strategies to address it.

4. In our country are being “killed” more children of which we imagine. Not that die, is to die violently at the hands of another person. But, there are no systematic data on the extent of this problem, no violence in general, but children who have died from violence in our country. Simply nobody has posted. And there's no way to know who killed them. If you want to know more about this topic, lean here.

5. The forms of violence against children in Spain frequently are psychological abuse and neglect. We are not talking, therefore, only physical violence, but children who grow up thinking they are useless, unworthy that nobody wants, alone and scared, to stop talking, eating or sleeping out of fear but never put their hands up. O children learning to be adults and take care of who should care for them, that stand to defend others from too habitual aggression, jumping in terror at the sound of the key in the front door. Violence, whatever the victim, begins long before putting a hand on a person. And that violence against children is no exception.

6. Data on juvenile violence by other children or adults have gained much more visibility in recent years, but do not represent the majority of cases of violence. Those who mostly use violence in Spain are adults, men and women, and children are the victims. Visible the violence committed by children, and adolescents is necessary, not only for the victims of such violence, whether children or adults, but because a child, child or adolescent who commits violence also need therapeutic care. But it can not be an excuse to obscure the most cases, are those in which violence is exercised adults.

If after taking these data, stop denying the evidence and suffering that lie behind them, ask what you can do, keep in mind that while we know how to reduce the pain. There are experiences evaluated, sustainable and effective in the eradication of violence against children. What we have not yet achieved is the institutional will to develop and implement them to the extent that we would need in Spain.

What are the key?

1. Institutional coordination. Coordination between the different Autonomous Communities to unify standards of quality care to children victims of violence. Coordination between law protecting women and child protective services so they can work hand in hand and not defensive. Coordination between the educational level, health, social, police and judicial under the umbrella of procedural protocols that go beyond the role.

2.The adequate and sufficient expertise of the professionals who care for children victims of violence, including the creation (or support in the event that the existing) assessment services and specialized treatment in each region that serve children victims of violence, sites are in the situation of vulnerability in, both at the administrative level, and police, health and judicial. All the nest niña victim of violence, this having been pursued by whom it has been, is in a risky situation. And as such she must be assured that adequate care is not dependent on the income of their families.

3. A judicial proceeding actually precede the interests of the child to any other legal standard. This is an issue that involves a variety of judicial and administrative, therefore I will not extend. If you want to know more about this topic, lean here.

4. Post all data concerning violence in its different dimensions in a unified way, including data of victims, not only the perpetrators. This includes a record of abuse cases actually make it a must for the Autonomous Communities, involuntary. That records of police and justice systematize data concerning not only the victims and the perpetrators of crimes, so we can know how many violent crimes are committed against children, and adolescents in our country.

5. Programs include affective-sexual education in schools and programs of psychosocial support to families in the early years of child's life they go, gently, changing beliefs that exist in our society, are those that enable, promote and legitimize violence against children, and adolescents. The work of raising and attitudinal change is slow but imperative.

I am aware that each of the above points would talk hours. But for me, and to the entire team of CI Spirals, is important advocacy work that has been nine years (and long before that) and will continue to do. To honor the pain of children, and adolescent victims of violence and their families. But the pain of adult men and women who keep within the suffering they endured as boys or girls and no one saw. The children of suffering in 2005 and have already become adults, in some cases accompanied and supported, in many other solos. And the pain of the professionals who work daily to ease her suffering without having to do with institutional resources, necessary human and financial. And why not, for members of that subcommittee, belong to the party they belong, never can say they did not know.



Comment the Isabel
9 July, 2014

I agree with every one of your words, Joe, and I thank you for the important work you are carrying out since Espirales. It's a great satisfaction to know that children, girls and adolescents are taken into account right now for good professionals who worry about being the voice of those who do not have it because they feel lonely and forgotten. Thank you and keep working!

Comment the Pepa Horno – CI Spirals
11 July, 2014

Thank you, Isabel, by your words and your support always.
A hug,

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