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Old 26th November 2009, 02:00 PM   #1
Ageing Grace
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Children to learn about domestic abuse

A controversial move has been made to teach UK school children about domestic abuse ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/e...on/8378341.stm ).

Those who know me will be unsurprised to hear I support this decision 100%. I grew up in a violent household and, as a result, became a woman who genuinely believed violence was normal. I accepted it from partners, colleagues and - er, friends. I also dished it out - verbally, in my case, but that doesn't make it any less abusive.

Although I now realise some of my better teachers had spotted the signs, domestic abuse was considered a private matter. The teachers weren't able to protect me and my siblings - nor, even, to educate us against it.

This education policy could have saved us from decades of warped thinking and from the unhealthy relationship models we adopted as adults. More: it might have empowered us to relieve the situation at home.

I'd go as far as to say it could actually change our society for the better! It will teach children - from as young as five - what behaviours are abusive, why they're wrong, and how to recognise healthy interactions. When you think about playground bullying and how it extends to life beyond the school grounds, the benefits of this policy should become clear.

Many people have reacted against the news, believing (I suppose) that children should be cocooned against nastiness. The fact is: every class contains at least one child living in secret torment. When the whole class becomes aware of domestic abuse, that child will gain life-enhancing knowledge and protection.

AG
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Old 26th November 2009, 02:48 PM   #2
Helen_uk
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Re: Children to learn about domestic abuse

I also support this move. I suffered from a very turbulent upbringing with an alcoholic abusive step mother. I didn't recognise it as abuse , to me as a child that's just the way life was.

I struggled with normal healthy relationships as an adult because I had no clue as to what behaviour was normal and my first marriage was also very physically , emotionally and mentally abusive. As a result I've suffered years of depression.

Had I had the benefit of education on abuse from a young age I may well have acted differently, recognising what was happening to me and this could have changed the course of my life. At the very least , the trust issues I've suffered from all of my adult life may have been helped.

I think educating children in an age appropriate way is enabling and it also removes the stigma of being an abused child. It can feel very shaming to a child to admit that they've suffered or witnessed abuse.

Anything that helps to reduce and raises awareness of domestic violence is, in my eyes, a good thing.

You can't " coccoon " children from reality , so much better to help them to recognise and deal with issues.
Helen
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Old 26th November 2009, 09:11 PM   #3
clockwork orange
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Re: Children to learn about domestic abuse

I also back this. How can children deal with these issues unless they can recognise them? Those who oppose the decision, well, I do wonder why?
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Old 28th November 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
Ageing Grace
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Re: Children to learn about domestic abuse

Thank you, people for your replies

Isn't it amazing how consistently those of us, who experienced domestic abuse, went on to have damaging relationships and depression? I find it hard to understand why so many people discount its ongoing - and cyclical - effects.

Maybe they're the ones who bluster "Never did me any harm!" - and bequeath their own warped values to their children
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