Violence among children

Violence among children means one or more children continually and deliberately harassing, attacking or harming another child unable to defend itself

In accordance with the Protocol on the treatment of violence between children and young people, violence between children and young people is to be understood as any intentional physical or mental violence directed at children and young people by their peers with a view to harming oneself regardless of the place of execution. It can vary in shape, weight, intensity and time duration, including repeating the same pattern and maintaining an unequal balance of power (stronger against the weaker or groups against the individual).

Forms of violence among children

Violence between children and young people is considered to be:
  • intentionally caused physical assault in any form (for example, hitting, pushing, shooting, slapping, pulling, locking, attacking various objects, spitting, etc. whether or not the assailant has suffered bodily harm)
  • mental and emotional violence caused by repeated or permanent negative actions by one or more children. Negative procedures are, for example: gossip, name-calling, ridicule, intimidation, mockery, wilful neglect and exclusion from the group to which it belongs, spreading rumors, confiscating things or money, destroying or damaging the child's belongings, humiliating, ordering or demanding obedience or otherwise putting the child in a subordinate position, as well as any other conduct committed by the child and a young person (including sexual harassment and abuse) intentionally inflicting physical and mental pain or shame on another child, either in direct communication or through social networks and electronic means of communication.

School in the Prevention of violence

The school is responsible for the violence that happens at school and near school. The Director, teachers and professional associates are obliged to prevent and stop any form of violence at school and, if necessary, to cooperate with the Centre for Social Welfare and the police.
It is important that the school ensures that there is a “safe” place to shelter those who feel victims, that it provides a model of non-violent and positive behaviour (i.e. the behaviour of school employees), respect for students, and that it adequately monitors the places that students say are potential places of attack and intimidation.

Who and how to report violence among children and where to seek help

In accordance with Article 132. of the Family Act, everyone is obliged to report to the Croatian Social Work Institute a violation of the child's personal and property rights. An infringement of personal rights entails, in particular: physical or mental violence, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, child abuse or exploitation, child exposure to domestic violence.
You can report information about violence among children and young people to police stations, the Croatian Institute for Social work and educational institutions that are obliged to follow the received reports of violence and cooperate with each other.
Professional assistance or counselling in case of violence among children is provided to the victim and perpetrator of violence, and can be provided by school professionals or professional workers of the Croatian Social Work Institute. The Croatian Social Work Institute is obliged to examine the family circumstances of the perpetrator of violence and to impose or propose the imposition of family-legal measures prescribed by family law. Children and parents may also be granted the right to a Psychosocial counselling os well as Counseling services can be realized in the Family centre or at the Croatian Social Work Institute, the social welfare home and other social services providers.