The right that girls and boys have to a non-violent life not only applies to physical, but also emotional violence. Emotional violence is not as easily recognizable as physical violence, but it can hurt just as much, if not more.
For example, adults insult girls and boys by calling them stupid or lazy. The adults make them feel like they are worthless. That is emotional violence. It also includes the neglect of children, when they are oppressed, when their personal boundaries and privacy are not respected, when their will and opinions do not count, and when pressure is put on them
“Children have the right to a family, for parental provision and for a safe home.” This is one of the fundamental Children’s Rights (you can read more about these under the section “Children’s rights / Girls’ rights”). If this, or other fundamental Children’s Rights are violated, it is emotional violence. Unfortunately, families do not always look like this right aims for them to look. For example, it can happen that parents are mentally ill and therefore cannot adequately fulfill their parental role. It can then happen that children have to take on tasks that children should not have to. Parents must be there for their children, not the other way around. Mothers and father must, for example, ensure that their children grow up healthy and safe, without having to worry about things like housing, money, food and clothing. If adults have an argument with someone, they must settle it amongst themselves; they must not ask children to take a side or even settle the argument.
If mothers or father cannot manage all this for some reason, they may expect help from their children. The roles of parents and children are then reversed. The children are then burdened with responsibilities that put a lot of stain on them and make their lives difficult. These children are robbed of their childhood. This is called “parentification” and is also a form of emotional violence. In such cases, it is important that the family receives help.
However, in addition to parents or guardians, emotional violence can also come from peers or partners. It can lead to you feeling bad, small, and dependent, that you are scared, feel desperate and despondent. It can even lead to physical illnesses. Often it is not easy to break free from relationships that involve emotional violence.
But you have the right to a to a happy and self-determined life. Nobody has the right to inflict emotional violence upon you. And if this does happen to you, it is never your fault. The offenders are always to blame for the emotional violence. But emotional violence is difficult to prove and therefore more difficult to punish than physical violence.
If you are affected by emotional violence, speak to a person you trust. You can also contact us here in the online consultation. We advise you anonymously and confidentially.