The messenger logo

UNICEF: Sixty percent of Georgians believe harsh parenting as more effective

By Thea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 19
Child violence still remains a hot issue in Georgia based on a recent survey carried out by UNICEF, through which the majority of respondents believe that harsh parenting methods are effective and justified.

After two years the situation has not changed a lot and child violence is still an unresolved issue. It may be physical, emotional or sexual, the organization states.

The representatives of UNICEF think that the problem is in state mechanism and in lack of information.

According to them it is a huge problem, with 60% of citizens considering violence against children as acceptable disciplinary approach.

“Violence is everywhere. It happens in all countries, at all levels of society”, said Sascha Graumann, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “But all too often, violence against children is invisible because it occurs within homes and families or because people turn a blind eye to it. UNICEF has been working with the Government of Georgia and USAID to advance the child protection referral procedures but in order to make this institutional mechanism work properly it is crucial that we all are active and speak out when we see such violence.” Graumann added.

The head of UNICEF program Maia Kurtsikidze believes that it is necessary to carry out educational work as well as the communication campaign aimed at changing the social norms.

Psychologists think that in the process of shaping children’s psychology, the initial stages of childhood are vital.

Children’s psychologist Lika Butsashvili said that childhood problems may affect the future life of a person.

“It is very common that people who were the victims of violence in childhood become violators in the future themselves,” she stressed.

The members of the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA) think that the problem is universal.

The head of GYLA Ana Natsvlishvili thinks that every state institution which can influence the public opinion should do their best to eliminate all types of domestic violence in the country.

In 2015 Georgia signed the Lanzarote Convention and became the member of the countries who consider any kind of violence a breach of the law.

According to them it is crucial that the legislation followed the provisions of the Lanzarote Convention which is an effective blueprint as to how national legislation should protect the child by preventing the violence.

But whether or not the Lanzarote Convention will be a solution for Georgia’s increased Child Abuse Problem is still unknown, and the problem remains topical.