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October 2, 2023

Shouting at children can be as damaging as physical or sexual abuse, study says

  • Research has found that parents who shout at their children are leaving them at greater risk of self-harm, drug use and ending up in jail.
  • The authors reported that “adult-to-child perpetration of verbal abuse is characterised by shouting, yelling, denigrating the child, and verbal threats”.
  • Professor Shanta R Dube, a US expert in child abuse and a co-author of the study, reported that adults are often unaware of how their tone and use of words such as “stupid” or “lazy” can negatively impact children.
  • One recent UK survey of 1,000 11–17-year-olds found 41% said that adults frequently used harmful and upsetting words towards them.
  • Professor Peter Fonagy, a co-author of the paper, the head of the division of psychology and language sciences at University College London (UCL) and the chief executive of the Anna Freud centre added that “exposure to verbal abuse profoundly affects children” and can cause “mental disorders, increased likelihood of recreating abusive situations in their lives, for example finding a partner who is abusive to them, as well as finding themselves repeating the abuse with others.”.
  • Dube stated that childhood verbal abuse “is not on the radar for detection” and is hard to prevent as few adults are aware it is a common and harmful problem.
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

Special needs: Mum wants answers over daughter’s school injuries

  • A family are seeking further answers about head injuries sustained by their disabled daughter whilst at school.
  • The 18-year-old was recorded by staff as banging her head off the ground 10 to 20 times over a period of one to two minutes.
  • Her family said they had concerns about the safeguarding procedures in place at the school.
  • A spokesperson for the school reported: “We can assure parents that our school has robust safeguarding policies and procedures which were followed on this occasion.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Almost a quarter of NI children living in poverty, reveals report by charity

  • Save the Children has reported that almost a quarter of children in NI are living in poverty.
  • They found 22% of children in NI currently live in poverty, with 61% of them in working households.
  • The charity found a consensus that the welfare system is exacerbating families’ already challenging circumstances, and that people are calling for a system which offers agency, choice and dignity.
  • Save the Children’s report also found that the “level of financial support available through the social security system is increasingly inadequate when compared to the rising sea of costs faced by families”.
  • Joanne Dougan from the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme in Dungannon, stated “there are more families coming through the door and the Community Sector cannot continue to stretch existing budgets to meet this increasing demand, without putting charitable organisations and the wider sector at risk”.
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.

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