What can I do as a teacher?
The role of the contemporary teacher involves the total raising of children , beyond just the area of knowledge. In this respect, they serve as a key link regarding the protection of children against abuse or neglect. ELIZA is constantly seeking collaboration with teachers, both through its programs and through direct awareness campaigns in nurseries and primary schools, concerning the sensitive issue of child abuse and neglect.
The most important thing that a school or nursery teacher can do is observe the students in his/her classroom, while watching out for possible signs that might reveal that a child is suffering from some form of abuse or neglect. These signs might be physical, such as strange scratches and cuts, even unjustified bruises, or psychological, such as rapid changes in the child’s behaviour, all suggesting possible sexual abuse.
Get informed about what child abuse means precisely and what forms it might take and then talk to children about their rights, as well as the ways they can say NO and protect them-selves.
How should I react if I suspect that a child in my class is a victim of abuse or neglect?
– I keep my composure and I make sure I am available for the child if it wishes to talk, by ensuring the appropriate space and time
– I do not express doubts; I listen to the child carefully and I don’t use words that might put him/her in an awkward position
– I do not ask the child to show me wounds or scratches
– I do not promise that I will keep his/her secret and I explain that I need to protect him/her
– I call the 115 25 helpline of the TOGETHER FOR THE CHILD Association and report the incident in order to get advice from the experts
What is my obligation as a teacher when I suspect that a child is undergoing abuse or neglect within the wider family environment?
Any teacher of primary or secondary education who is informed or discovers in any way that a crime of domestic violence has been committed against a student, must inform, without any delay, the Principle of the school. The Principle of the school immediately reports the punishable act to the competent prosecutor, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of article 37 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, or to the nearest police authority. Naturally the same obligation is undertaken by the teachers and Principles of private schools, as well as by the people in charge of any kind of preschool education units (article 23, Law 3500/2006).
I do not wait until it’s too late. Timely prevention can save children.
How can I support ELIZA as a teacher?
Teachers are our allies in the timely prevention of incidents of abuse or neglect of young children. You can support the work of ELIZA – Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in several ways:
- Talk about ELIZA in the school department where you are working and inform your colleagues about the 115 25 helpline.
- Contact us in order for us to visit your nursery or primary school and inform parents and teachers about the need for the prevention of child abuse or neglect.
- Support our work through school events, like Christmas bazaars, Easter festivities or concerts and theatre performances.
We are at your disposal to work together for the protection of children at risk and to break the silence.