The people of Austria want more severe laws and punishments considering child molesting, but 2/3 of them think that a slap on the face from time to time is good.
The research by the Gallup Institute has shown that most of the people are not certain what is considered as child molesting. 95% of them consider “a father’s beating” as a clear sign of child molesting, but only 34% think that a mild slap can be considered as molesting.
- That means that many support the slap as an act of violence despite the 25 year ban of the usage of any kind of punishment in the process of upbringing- said the board director of the NGO “Meve”, Hedwig Welfel.
But, 88% of the people in Austria think that if someone else from the outside, a neighbor or a teacher slaps a child, that can be considered as molesting, whereas 79% consider a slap from the child’s mother also a molesting.
- If this kind of punishment comes from within the family circle it can be considered as a legitimate way of punishment – adds Welfel.
The numbers show that certain forms of violence are decreasing for ex. slapping, ear pulling,whereas other forms are becoming more common like isolating the child.
- If the parents don’t speak to the child as a form of punishment, 26% considered it as molesting, even though it is a psychological abuse – says Hedwig, adding that the results of a psychological abuse are still underestimated, because in that way the children won’t learn how to deal with conflicts later in life.
A growing trend is the so called “cybermobbing” (molesting children using the internet and the social networks) or “happy slapping” which are videos of fights between teachers and students recorded and posted on the internet.
- The violence between youngsters and children is growing – adds Welfel.