Tunisia-Anissa Bouaskar: “Some of violence imposed on children can be described as torture” [Video]

Dr. Anisa Bouaskar, a psychiatric and neurological specialist, has highlighted the multifaceted nature of violence directed at children, including moral, material, and sexual violence, along with negligence, undue pressure, and extreme control. Speaking to Tunisie Numérique, Dr Bouaskar emphasised the detrimental impact such violence has on a child’s ability to live in a safe and healthy environment.

Dr Bouaskar further elaborated that disciplines imposed on children not only cause a wide array of physical and psychological harm but also fundamentally oppose children’s basic needs for play and learning. Instead of fostering a nurturing environment, such violent punishments can escalate to the level of torture.

The physical repercussions of violence against children, as Dr. Bouaskar pointed out, are deep, potentially leading to immunodeficiency, asthma, stomach disorders, and other health issues. Equally concerning are the psychological effects, which can persist and grow as the child develops, shaping their development and well-being in significant ways.

Stressing the prevalence of this issue, the National Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey on the Situation of Mothers and Children in Tunisia (MICS-2023) discovered that a staggering 80.9 percent of children between the ages of one and 14 years have experienced at least one form of psychological or physical punishment by their mothers or caretakers. This statistic underlines the urgent necessity for awareness, intervention, and support systems to protect children and promote their rights to safety, health, and development free from violence.


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