International conference: "How to start a Family Justice Center" was held in the Royal Library in Brussels, Belgium on 1st of December 2017. Main hosts were Bert Groen, president of European Family Justice Center Alliance, and Pascale Franck, director of Family Justice Center in Antwerp, Belgium. The specific focus of the conference was development and support of integrated multidisciplinary centers and chain approach to create pathways to hope for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.
Doc. dr. sc. Bruna Profaca, prof. of psychology from the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, prof. of psychology Sanja Jozić from kindergarten, social worker and parent representative Jadranka Lukin and psychologist Vanda Božić from the Brave Phone spoke on the Round Table “I Can do It Differently: What Instead of Physical Punishment?” organized by the Brave Phone at the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb on October 5, 2018.
– Despite the law, parents still continue to use physical punishment. Although some see it as an educational method, most parents admit it is a loss of control or the feeling of helplessness that makes them do it. For this very reason, with this campaign we aim to advise it can be done differently and how to replace physical punishment with positive disciplinary methods. – said Hana Hrpka, President of the Brave Phone.
This roundtable was organized within the campaign “I can do it differently: what instead of Physical Punishment?” Which will be presented durin October as part of the project “From politics to reality – Changing attitudes and practices from physical punishment to child protection measures”. The project is aimed at combating and preventing physical punishment of children through co-operation and exchange of experience between relevant experts, and co-financed by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program and the Office of the Government’s Office for NGOs. The central part of the campaign is the promotional video “I Can Do It Differently”(in Croatian).
Parents often use physical punishment as an educational method because of incorrect beliefs about the effectiveness of that method. Many believe that a casual spank to a child cannot be harmful and that it is the only way a child learns that he can’t do certain things. However, research shows that physical punishment reduces the likelihood that a child will truly learn what his parents want him to learn.
Instead of physical punishment, parents can use a number of other methods to set the limits, depending on the child’s age. Therefore, it is important to lead with the idea that every child needs respect, attention, trust, and love.