Stories of violence against children horrify many people, especially those who have their own kids. Unfortunately, it is very hard to help a person who was exposed to violence and humiliation as a child.
In some Western countries, a child has a right to sue his parents just because of the fact that he does not receive enough pocket money from them. The Russian approach is different. People prefer not to interfere in other people’s lives. Russians will hardly call the police if they see a homeless kid panhandling in the street.
In Russia, children are considered to be the property of their parents. Most people in this country tend to believe that a child most likely deserves punishment if parents beat him.
Officials of social custody services supervise presumably troubled families, in which adults overindulge in alcohol and fighting, causing trouble to their neighbors. If adult family members are socially and psychologically stable, nobody would care if a father regularly lashes his child with a belt or if a mother makes her child kneel down in a corner for hours.
There are incidents when adults literally torment their children for their wrongdoings. For example, they would tie children up and leave them without food. Most of such parents or foster parents are absolutely normal people – they are not addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc.
Even if social custody officers take a child under control on time, the story is not likely to have a happy ending.
“Such kids usually arrive here with nervous breakdowns. They stammer and suffer from involuntary urination and nightmares. Their self-esteem is absolutely crushed, not to mention the fact that they have a whole bouquet of cognitive defects - diminished attention, memory and thinking. And this is only the tip of the iceberg,” K.V. Sokolov, a psychologist of the Moscow-based Social Rehabilitation Center said.
The specialist said that those individuals, who were subjected to home violence in their childhood, begin to treat their peers similarly as they grow, displaying sadistic habitudes. They often keep this attitude throughout their lives, even when they have their own families.
The psychologist believes that one needs to work with the consequences of the abusive treatment of children. “It is extremely important to have a delicate approach to this issue, preferably in the form of a game. A child learns through games, and we try to use children’s language in our communication with such kids. When children play their toys in a sandpit, they create their own world, a whole new world, a whole new way of life. A child plays a game of his family relations, the relations of his parents and then tries to change those relations under the guidance of a therapist. It gives a child an opportunity to build a new life for himself, a new life without aggression,” the psychologist said.