Chil­dren need to be ed­u­cated about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

The Beacon (Gander) - - Editorial -

The most preva­lent vi­o­lent crime in our prov­ince of late is vi­o­lence against women, par­tic­u­larly do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. You can’t watch the news or log on to so­cial media with­out hear­ing of at least a cou­ple in­ci­dents a week.

Why is this plague so com­mon in to­day’s so­ci­ety? Is it the out­dated laws, the in­ap­pro­pri­ate pun­ish­ments, or is it sim­ply lack of knowl­edge? Per­haps a com­bi­na­tion of it all cou­pled with drug and/or al­co­hol de­pen­den­cies. The cy­cle of vi­o­lence is prob­a­bly the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor.

(Last week on) Wed­nes­day, I re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from my 13-year-old daugh­ter’s school bus driver that a boy the same age kicked her in the back of the head on the bus. Ob­vi­ously I’m not call­ing this do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, but the man­ner in which she tried, at first, to cover for the boy is alarm­ing. This boy saw no wrong in kick­ing a girl in the head; my daugh­ter saw no wrong in try­ing to hide it from me, even though I have all but preached aware­ness to her.

At 13, you have knowl­edge of right and wrong. Yes, they’re kids, but even­tu­ally they will be­come adults. Nat­u­rally, this in­ci­dent has been dealt with, but what of those that aren’t known or left unchecked? What will the end re­sult be as our kids reach ma­tu­rity?

One in four re­la­tion­ships in Canada ex­pe­ri­ence at least one form of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. The education sys­tem is bury­ing its head in the sand if it thinks no stu­dents in our prov­ince are wit­ness­ing this vi­o­lent be­hav­iour at home, thus mak­ing it a learned be­hav­iour, which is how the cy­cle of vi­o­lence can start.

Education is paramount to preven­tion. Reli­gion, as we know it, has been re­moved from the schools and re­placed with sex education, and top­ics such as the death penalty and var­i­ous cults and their lead­ers. All of this is con­sid­ered ap­pro­pri­ate so­cial knowl­edge. Why, then, is there no grade-level com­pre­hen­sive education pro­gram on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and its var­i­ous forms? Our chil­dren need to be taught while they’re young and most im­pres­sion­able to pre­vent both vic­tims and abusers later in life.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence aware­ness is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. It’s a se­ri­ous epi­demic, with of­ten­times, as we have seen, fa­tal re­sults.

I’m call­ing on the De­part­ment of Education, along with pro­tec­tive agen­cies in our prov­ince, to es­tab­lish an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram to in­still knowl­edge in our chil­dren. We are, as a so­ci­ety, re­spon­si­ble to break this cy­cle of vi­o­lence. In do­ing so, we may save a life.

Cindy Cran­ford


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