The Fifth congress of psychologists of Bosnia and Herzegovina with international participation was held in Sarajevo from 2 to 4 March 2017. Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb was represented by Mia Roje, mag. psych. in collaboration with Sara Lulić, mag. psych., from the organization Brave Phone. They presented the results of the pilot study of the knowledge of helping professions students about child abuse in Croatia and their way of attributing blame and responsibility for child abuse.
On the occasion of the International No Hitting Day for Children that the whole world celebrates on April 30th, Brave phone presented the results of research on attitudes about corporal punishment of children conducted in the framework of the project “From Policy to reality – changing attitudes and practice of corporal punishment to measures for the protection of children” , conducted in August 2017.
The research was conducted online and the results are based on a representative sample of 500 participants from all over the Republic of Croatia. The research found that:
- Every other person (52%) believes that corporal punishment should not generally be used, but considers it justified in some situations,
- Less than two-fifths of participants (39%) recognize the danger of corporal punishment and believe that it should never be used,
- Every third participant (34%) believes that corporal punishment should not be forbidden to parents in child upbringing,
- 41% of participants do not know if corporal punishment in the Republic of Croatia is prohibited by law.
Table 1. The legal prohibition of different forms of corporal punishment
These results were obtained as part of a two-year project funded under the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program, and implemented in Croatia, Latvia and Poland. The project is aimed at combating and preventing corporal punishment of children in involved countries through co-operation and exchange of experience between relevant stakeholders and experts.
“The results indicate that citizens continue to believe that corporal punishment is justified in some situations, they consider it an effective educational method and have little awareness of the legal prohibition of corporal punishment in Croatia. One of the main goals of the project is to empower the nursery specialists in working with parents, especially on the issue of corporal punishment. When talking about preschool age, we are talking about a critical developmental period in which parents often do not know how to behave differently. Our common goal is to be with parents when they were most in need of support and help them identify effective and positive parenting in themselves. For years we have been supporting them through our Brave Phone for Mom and Dad (0800-0800), and now we could do this through this project, “said Hana Hrpka, psychologiest, President of the Brave Phone.
The Brave Phone based on the obtained results working on the empowerment the preschool teachers to provide parents with information on corporal punishment as accessible as possible and to help change images of corporal punishment in the Croatian society.
The results of this study of the Brave Phone in its entirety (in Croatian) are available for download here: