Gathering together in a room full of people who have the same passions and desires to protect children against violence in Tanzania is extremely encouraging. It's even more motivating to hear from parents who are doing everything in their power to not only protect their children from abuse but also protect and strengthen their emotional and mental health. As the training continued to discuss the importance of protecting children against emotional abuse, a father boldly reminded the trainees the essential need for children to have self-confidence. He stated, " I don't care if my child gets an F or E in school, I want my child to have self-esteem. The more we have a nation that is abusing children, the more we continue to have a an unhealthy nation." This was such a powerful statement as we know the importance of educational success in Tanzania. But it's very important that parents, teachers, caregiver, social workers, and everyone else who is working alongside children understand the power behind words. Everyone in the room for this training couldn't agree more with the encompassing words of this father. Although, emotional or verbal abuse may be more "subtle" to identify than physical or sexual abuse, it's not less harmful. The weapon of choice may be non-physical but the weapon is attacking the child's emotion with words. It shouldn't be mocked or found humorous. It is a form of abuse and has dangerous long term affects on the emotional well-being of children.
What's your response going to be when you hear an adult emotionally abusing a child?
Emotional Abuse: involves continuing behavior by adults toward children, which includes threats, rejection, isolation, belittling, name calling or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment which erodes social competence or self-esteem over time.