Words : Chandi Perera
“Parental mistreatment of children is one form of “familial violence” inextricably entwined with factors emanating in the broader society and impinging on the families”, says a study conducted by the School of Social Welfare, University of California in its journal “ Parental Mistreatment – Perpetrators and Victims”. Although a seven seas away from our paradise isle, parental mistreatment of children, seem to be a global phenomenon than just a domestic issue. If it is global, let the UN address it. Our purpose here, is to address the local issue, which seems to have grown exponentially, in the post war Sri Lanka.
Parental mistreatment is two-fold. Ie i) Abuse, where children are willfully - physically or emotionally abused and ii) Omission – where the care due to an underage child is neglected to the extent, that the effects of it, stunts the growth, producing a damaged person to the society.
An abusive parent, is one that misuses the parental authority to dominate, intimidate and suppress the ‘person’ that the child is growing to be. In real life, this is a misuse of parental responsibility and authority. Neglect, on the other hand is a misuse of parental duty – where a child is required to be cared for, fed, mentored, educated and nurtured into adulthood.
Why is this sad phenomenon on the increase in our beautiful motherland? Drawing from the educated to the home-schooled in real life, we had some thoughts which are worth exploring.
Parents are not ready to raise a family, leave along marry: “Young ones jump into marriage, just for sex”, says one of these thoughts. Generalization – yes, but to some extent true. In a society pressurized with achieving best results from Grade 5 to Advanced Level, those who feel they fall behind, seek the solace of conjugal benefits, as opposed to carving out their path in life, before they settle down to marriage and family.
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