I NEED HELP

I am a child & a teenager

Things you should know

No child should grow up in fear. You have a right to childhood free from violence, as well as other rights that make up the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This convention is about you and all children around the world. It is a very important document, which almost every country (including Slovakia) abides by.

Choose from the options below and learn what violence is, what it is not and what peer violence means.

 

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      When someone hits, slaps, kicks, strangles you or inflicts physical pain on you in any other way.

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      When someone humiliates, ridicules, insults, bullies or threatens you (including via the Internet).

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      When someone touches private parts of your body without your consent, when someone hurts private parts of your body, forces you to take of your clothes, records you or takes photos of you when you are naked and in private situations, forces you to touch private parts of someone’s body or to look at someone’s nudity.

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      When you suffer from hunger, you are neglected and ignored by adults and often left alone unsupervised.

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      When you have to carry out a hard and painful work.

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      When someone detains you at a certain place against your will and without your parents’ knowledge.

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      When someone forces you to drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs.

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      When you are afraid because someone from your closest ones is a victim of violence.

  • Just like adults, children too have certain rights and obligations (e.g. going to school). After you turn 18, you will be responsible for promoting your rights and fulfilling your duties. However, until then your parents bear the responsibility over you and your actions. You may understand many of the measures they take to keep you safe only after you become a parent yourself. Parents have a right to guide you. The fact that you do not like the way they raise you does not necessarily mean that it is wrong. If your behavior is inappropriate (e.g. you put your health at risk, you hurt your siblings or other children, you are playing truant or goofing off and do not do your homework…), your parents can justifiably be strict at you, but in a fair and proportionate way. Parents can under no conditions inflict on you physical or mental pain or jeopardize your life, health and development.

    Hence violence is not:

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      fulfilling your school duties (e.g. going to school, doing your homework),

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      being scolded for improper behaviour at school,

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      helping with the chores (e.g. tiding up your room, shopping, taking out the trash…) and keeping established rules – household work should not, however, endanger your health or fulfilling your school duties,

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      punishment (e.g. reprimand, withholding privileges, being grounded or punishment which does not jeopardize your physical or mental development) you receive from your parents for your improper behaviour, breaking established rules or not fulfilling your school duties,

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      medical examination, even if it sometimes is painful (parents or other caregivers may also force you into doing other things that are beneficial to your health, such as going to sleep early, eating a lot of fruit and vegetables or brushing your teeth – none of these is violence),

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      when you do not receive a toy or something else you desire. Neither it means that parents or other caregivers do not love you. However, sometimes i tis necessary to save money for other stuff.

  • Not only adults, but also children can be the perpetrators of violence against you. If you yourself commit violence against your peers, you cause them suffering that can have very severe consequences. Try to imagine how you would feel in the shoes of the person you hurt. Moreover, your actions can result in serious consequences also for you.

    If you hurt someone, the following can succeed:

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      your parents or other caregivers will punish you (by reprimanding you, grounding you or withholding some privileges you had been given),

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      your grade for behaviour at school will be lowered,

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      you will have to temporarily leave your family and reside in a correctional institution,

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      if the harm you cause to your peer is of grave nature, you may be punished for committing an offence or a crime (e.g. bodily harm) and may even end up imprisoned.

  • Forms of violence:

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      Physical violence
      If someone in your surroundings or in your family intentionally causes you injuries by slapping, beating, kicking, strangling you, intentionally inflicts scratches, bruises, burns on your body, or evokes fear and pain by their behaviour, this person perpetuates physical violence against you. In such a situation it is important that you turn to someone who will help you. Remember, you are neither responsible nor to be blamed for this person’s violent behaviour. Nobody has a right to hurt you in such a way.

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      Psychological abuse
      If someone in your surroundings, family or school on a long-term basis threatens, ridicules, name-calls, humiliates or ignores you or a person close to you, or if they inflict physical violence against a member of your family and thus makes you feel fear, shame and grief, they perpetuate mental violence against you. In such a situation it is important that you turn to someone who will help you. Remember, you are neither responsible nor to be blamed for this person’s violent behaviour. Nobody has a right to hurt you in such a way.

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      Sexual abuse
      If someone touches private parts of your body without your consent, hurts these parts of the body, forces you to take of your clothes or without your consent records you or takes photos of you when you are naked and in private situations, forces you to touch private parts of someone else’s body or forces you to look at someone’s nudity, they may sexually abuse you. In such a situation it is important that you turn to someone who will help you. Remember, you are neither responsible nor to be blamed for this person’s violent behaviour. Nobody has a right to hurt you in such a way.

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      Neglect
      Neglect means that people in your surroundings who should take care of you (parents, foster parents…) show lack of interest and attention to you, they show no emotional support and love (they do not hug you, encourage you in difficult situations or when you are sad or in pain), they do not care to provide you food, snack for school, they are not interested whether you are washed, have decent clothing for the particular weather and season, or whether you are prepared for school, they are inattentive to what you are doing in your free time and what time you come home. In such a situation it is important that you turn to someone who will help you. Remember, you are neither responsible nor to be blamed for this person’s negligent behaviour. Your close ones, who are supposed to take care of you, should not neglect you.

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      Bullying
      Bullying is when someone at your school or in your surroundings ridicules, mocks, name-calls you, steals your snacks or money, hides or intentionally destroys your stuff, forces you to do things, which are unpleasant for you, threatens you with physical force, beats, hustles, pushes, kicks you, or persuades others to block or hurt you too. In such a situation it is important that you turn to someone who will help you. Remember, you are neither responsible nor to be blamed that this person bullies you. Nobody has a right to bully you.

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      Cyberbullying
      Cyberbullying is similar to bullying, but it happens with the use of new technologies, mainly cellphones and the Internet. The perpetrator may not necessarily be known to you. They usually target you online or via messages and aim to ridicule you, spread information about you or your family that are not true or information you find unpleasant. It is common to be harrassed by comments and messages with sexual hints.

  • I want to learn more about my rights:

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – English

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Slovak

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Hungarian

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Romani

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Russian

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Rusyn

    UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child-friendly language – Serbian

     

Need help?

If someone hurts you and you need help or you know someone in need of help, you can turn to:

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  • a parent or other relative who is not the perpetrator of violence (if they do not help you it is necessary that you turn to somebody else), a teacher or a teaching assistant at school,
  • an authority of socio-legal protection of children and social guardianship – you can come in person or you can call the toll-free number 0800 19 12 22,
  • the police – you can go to the nearest police station in person or call the toll-free number 158 (if you are afraid for your life or health it is important that you contact specifically the police as they are able to provide you with immediate protection),
  • the Child Helpline – call the toll-free number 116 111,
  • other organisations listed in the Get help section.

Free helplines