Individual, Women and Child Social Care and Management

Counsellor investigation with respect to 14 year old Akhila who was exposed to violence...

This case is a report of Akhila who had been exposed to some form of violence. The results showed high prevalence rates of physical, sexual and emotional violence experienced by Akhila.

According to Akhila she was punched and grabbed by the throat and then thrown on the concrete ground, kicked, beaten or hit by her maternal uncle. This amounts to physical violence.  Akhila in a session with the counsellor said that, “my family start to shout at me if I make any accusation against the uncle. They shout at me and beat me more and say you should finish your home work.” She was so frustrated with her mother that she began to scream back. Her mother then picked the broom and hit her and kicked her out of the house. The kids in the neighbour hood began to tease her and they pelted her with stones and she had scabs and bruises and blood all over her face and body.

In this case much of the physical violence against Akhila involved her family members. In the interview Akhila confessed that her mother and father were drunk every day and would always get into arguments and she had witnessed heaps of things get smashed. In one such incident her dad had hurt her mother that he made her mouth bleed.

In the summer vacations her parents went away one morning. Her maternal uncle came to visit Akhila very often. Akhila too was very dependent on uncle because her parents had left her without any support. Akhila was very sad and missed her parents. The uncle would console her and one fine day made an attempt to get physically close to her. The 14 year old Akhila resisted him loudly and they were suddenly being watched by the neighbours. The uncle apologised to the neighbours and told them that he was angry with Ahkila because she refused to complete her home work.   

The next morning Akhila woke up hearing fighting and banging on the walls. Akhila said that she was too afraid. She thought that her parents were beating each other. She was too shocked to see her uncle. He was acting stupid and crashing. He came towards Akhila and beat her up and gave her a black eye and bruised her face. She tried to escape but he chased her and abused her....

Through this case, we request reports on any incidence of any direct or indirect experiences of violence in the lives of children. The study will provide answers like providing safe environments to children and educating them to become responsible citizens by providing safe schools with supportive cultures. Children have a different perspective and experience life differently from adults. This difference does not negate the validity of their perspectives and experiences.

The cases can also be part of the study and research for policy makers who try to understand and give recognition to children's experience of life - including family, school, and other aspects of public life that have an impact on them. This requires a huge commitment to involving children, learning about ways to involve them, and recognizing both real and perceived barriers to their active participation in policy and decision-making processes.