Preventing and Countering Child Abuse
Preventing and countering violence against children requires systematic effort to counter the risks and identify protective factors against all the conditions that comprise risk factors on the individual, interpersonal and social level.
Ten international organisations under the aegis of the World Health Organisation collaborated to develop a technical “package” of initiatives which they call INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children.
This program aims at helping countries and societies attain goal 16.2 of the UN Agenda, which is ending violence against children. Each letter in the word INSPIRE stands for one of the seven strategies of prevention and dissuasion against various forms of violence; these strategies have been shown to have a particularly positive impact in connection with mental health, education and crime reduction.
INSPIRE: Seven strategies for ending violence against children
Implementation: Implementation and strengthening of the legal framework relating to changes in social conditions (e.g. restricting youth access to alcohol and firearms).
Norms: Changing the values and rules that society as a whole accepts (e.g. changing the mentality that tolerates or ignores sexual abuse of girls or aggressive behaviour among boys).
Safe environments: Identification of areas where violence is most prevalent (“hotspots”) and addressing the problems in these areas with specific policies and other interventions. (In Athens for example, Exarhia has been one such area for decades, while violence has now also moved to neighbourhoods south of Omonia Square.)
Parental support: Counselling and support, psychological and educational, to young parents who are encountering difficulties in bringing up their children.
Income: Income strengthening and financial support.
Response: Responding to the needs of children by providing for the appropriate services (e.g. ensuring that children who have suffered violence are given prompt, effective help, with psychological counselling and supervision).
Education: Advancing education and skill training (e.g. mandatory enrolment in primary and secondary education, inclusion of skill training).
Source: World Health Organisation (W.H.O.)