Human Rights Forum “Childhood scarred by domestic
violence: Understanding for better action”
Date and Time: Monday, July 11, 2022, 12:00PM(Time in France)
Location: Online (Zoom)
Topics: Domestic Violence, Human Rights
Host: HWPL Northern Seoul & Gyeonggi Branch, France Team
Mr. Alrick Metral, France, President of the Research Center for Information and Consultations on the Rights of the Child (CRIC)
Ms. Sandy Beky, France, Co-founder of HeHop
Ms. Laetitia Bravo, France, Specialized educator of APEX
Human Rights Forum “Childhood scarred by domestic violence: Understanding for better action” was held to understand the consequences of domestic violence on child victims and the laws existing to protect the child victims in order to solve it.
“Children who experience physical or psychological violence at a young age suffer tremendously, and this is ultimately reflected in their behavior in their daily lives.”
– Ms. Laetitia Bravo, Specialized educator of APEX –
“In the case of children, it is not possible to know the full picture of the circumstances and behaviors of parents related to domestic violence. However, children also need to know what has happened, where they are going and what their rights are. Parents also need to know about their children’s rights, so children should also be able to get help from lawyers.”
– Mr. Alrick Metral, President of the Research Center for Information and Consultations on the Rights of the Child (CRIC) –
Following the “Forum of non-violence for the spreading of a culture of peace” on April 28, 2022, co-organized with the Permanent Delegation of Mali to UNESCO, HWPL hosted another Human Rights Forum on the topic, “Childhood scarred by domestic violence: Understanding for better action” on July 11, 2022. Through the exchange with various actors, the objective of this forum is to understand the consequences of domestic violence on the health of children, to discuss how France should progress for improvement in existing legislation for the protection of children exposed to domestic violence, and to share ideas for effective actions or tools to solve this issue.
The forum commenced with a video, interviewing citizens about their awareness on the topic of domestic and child violence, which was created in collaboration with the IPYG. After that, three speakers gave presentations on topics related to violence against children, and then additional questions were discussed freely with the audience.
HWPL has organized several webinars to discuss how to cooperate between various actors to better support women or men who are victims of domestic violence. During these gatherings, many organizations raised the importance of better protecting children exposed to domestic violence. This approach that we are adopting today is part of a broader desire to affirm the recognition of children’s rights as essential human rights to protect the physical and mental integrity of the most vulnerable, of these children who very often lack the means to claim their rights. The right to live with one’s parents is also part of the rights of the child, but what can be done when the family unit, which should be a safe place for the good development of the child, is transformed into a place of terror, manipulation, crying and suffering? It is essential to fight against violence within families and couples. Progress has been made with the “Grenelle des Violences Conjugales”, the bill n°4747 initiated by the deputy Marie Tamarelle-Verhaeghe, aiming at protecting children exposed to violence within the couple.
Points of discussion
Ms. Laetitia Bravo addressed the different types of violence reproduced by children to explain the effects of domestic violence on children. She said that among the perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, most of them were child victims themselves. In other words, it was emphasized that such violence is a vicious cycle, where they reproduce what they directly experienced. And children who experience physical violence or psychological violence when they are young suffer a great deal of pain, which can be seen from their actions in their daily lives.
Mr. Alrick Metral explained the existing legislation to protect child victims in today’s France. He addressed that France has at least all the means to protect minors legally, but the only difficulty is practice. Despite the clarity of the law, the definition of physical violence still varies from person to person. Also, in the case of judges in charge of child-related litigation, many cases are related to psychological violence, so these cases are not simple and take a long time to process. In addition, he emphasized that although children are not well aware of the general circumstances and behaviors of parents related to domestic violence, children should also know what the rights of children are and that they should seek help from a lawyer if necessary.
Ms. Sandy Beky introduced an app created by HeHop, which stores the abuse evidence of domestic violence, a tool to help victims. She further explained how the app works and how victims can take the evidence to civil and criminal proceedings to bring the perpetrators to justice. She emphasized that it was designed to be stored in a digital safe.
Ms. Laetitia Bravo: “It is necessary to know that there are approximately 30-33% of these children who live conjugal violence who reproduce this violence. There are different types of reproduction of this violence by children. The adults who come to us, whether they are perpetrators of domestic violence or victims of domestic violence, have generally been child victims, in 90% of cases this is the case.”
Mr. Alrick Metral: “These children must be able to see where they are going, to know what their rights are, to know what has happened and to be informed, of course to the extent of their discernment. The priority is that the minors can be informed about the situations. For that, it is also necessary that the parents can be informed of their rights and also that the minors can be assisted by a lawyer.”
Our next step is to expand and develop a network with NGOs and associations to solve non-violence issues. In the second half of 2022, France team of HWPL Northern Seoul & Gyeonggi Branch will participate in volunteer activities with domestic violence-related organizations in need of help.
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