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The Increase in Violence against Children during the Pandemic in BiH

The Ombudsman for Children of the Republika Srpska (RS), Dragica Radovic, stated yesterday in Banja Luka that, according to the data of the centers for social work, about 1.240 reports of family violence against children were recorded last year, while 747 children were victims of violence.

Before the start of the round table at which the report on domestic violence against children was presented last year, Radovic pointed out that the coronarvirus pandemic affected the increase in the number of cases of domestic violence in 2020.

“The pandemic affected the change of lifestyle and behavior, classes were suspended for a certain period, many companies did not work, all this affected the economic situation in the family. The data we have are only reported cases, and the question is how many remain unreported,” told Radovic.

Also, she emphasized that family violence against children is mostly reported by institutions, followed by mothers, and least reported by children, only about two percent.

“Violence against children is also neglect of children, not only physical violence. Experts in educational institutions should recognize such cases, and centers for social work should act,” Radovic pointed out.

According to her, the goal of the report is not only statistics but to see what are the problems in protecting children from domestic violence and what all competent factors can do to improve the protection of children from all forms of violence.

Psychologist Ljiljana Uletilovic noted that this is the second year in a row that International Children’s Week is celebrated in a pandemic, ie a crisis situation.

“All relevant factors should be included and together protect children of all types of violence. When we say all factors, we mean first the family, then the educational system, the health system, and the system of social, family, and child protection,” Uletilovic explained.

The coordinator of the work of the “Blue Phone” (”Plavi telefon”), an advisory line for children and youth, Maja Kovacevic, told reporters that the number of calls from children and adults who suffer from domestic violence has increased in the last year.

Kovacevic mentioned that compared to last year, the number of reports of violence is three times higher, which, as she said, shows that many children and adults are victims of violence and are ready to talk about it.

“During the last year, we had 6 reports of violence, while this year the number of reports is 22, and the number of calls has also increased. Since the beginning of this year, we have received more than 8.000 calls and more than 700 messagesthrough chat counseling,” she concluded, BHRT writes.

E.Dz.

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