By WVA Ijevan Office
Against violence
November 19 is World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. All types of violence — physical, psychological, neglect and sexual — are common around the world, and the amount of use of any type of violence also depends on the socio-economic or political realities in the given country. The specified types of violence can also be seen in Armenia, but the most common types are physical and psychological violence that inhibit a child’s normal growth and socialization.

Violent acts can be seen at home, in the community, in school and elsewhere. The spread of types of violence is also caused by people’s lack of awareness about the mentioned bad manifestations. It is wrong to think that any type of violence is applied only against the child of a socially disadvantaged family. For instance, a child can also be neglected in an advantaged family where the parents only provide the child with good food or clothes, yet are not concerned about meeting the child’s other important needs such as education or daily upbringing. In any case, each person should know the types of violence and extirpate violence with preventive actions on a daily basis.

On World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, the IMPACT clubs of Azatamut held a community program that was entitled “Let’s Replace Violence with Love” and gathered nearly 150 children. The members of the clubs presented the definitions of violence and its types, the characteristics of violence and the potential consequences. For instance, beating, shaking, poisoning, strangling and blows were noted as types of physical violence, while not attaching importance to a child’s needs, isolating, terrorizing, humiliating, intimidating a child and provoking a child to show anti-social behavior were noted as types of psychological violence. Afterwards, in groups of two and with the help of conditional photo stories, the clubs’ members presented daily stories of use of violence (in family, at school or in the community) and the situations with their causes and effects, providing positive solutions. Each story ended with calls for prevention of violence. The attendees also watched a video devoted to manifestations of violence and their negative consequences, after which chess and checkers tournaments were organized for the children. “We are responsible for our behavior and actions. Many innocent children can suffer from an action that we take without thinking. We can’t change the past, but we can change the present,” says 15-year-old Diana. According to Edita, 16, poverty is a universal issue, and its elimination is one of the major and primary goals of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. “We regret to state that many children in the world live in poverty, deprived of the elemental conditions of welfare,” says Diana.

The IMPACT program was developed by New Horizons Foundation in Romania and is held in Armenia by World Vision Armenia in 6 provinces and in Yerevan. The goal is to consolidate young people in IMPACT clubs and help them gain the abilities they need to be in civil society and to be competitive in the labor market.