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.
Pilot study “Child abuse in the eyes of helping professions students” awakened interest of a wider audience and announced cooperation with BH colleagues, as well as the presentation of the key results in the media. Research shows that helping professions students tend to underestimate the incidence of the most types of abuse, as well as that they don’t recognize all forms of abuse, they have less knowledge related to the legislation on corporal punishment and that almost half of them attribute guilt for the electronic violence to the victim or equally to the victim and perpetrator, even though they give the most accurate assessment in the field of knowledge. Although some students have courses about abuse, some have personal experiences of abuse, some are educated about the abuse out of formal education, significant differences between them for most of the variables were not found.
Authors plan to continue and expand this study to determine which are the problems that occur when it comes to education about abuse, how to recognize them and make some positive changes to protect children by future professionals. The second part of the study will be presented at the upcoming “Ramiro and Zoran Bujas’ Days” in April in Zagreb, and we invite all professionals on active dialogue related to further research and possible practical implications.