Breaking the cycle : understanding and combating violence against children in the family context. The case study of the association Centro Educacional da Juventude Padre João Piamarta

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Pavia, Federica
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Violence against children is a major and widespread violation of human rights. When it happens in the family context, it inverts the roles – the ones supposed to protect children become the perpetrators, and home turns into a place to escape from. This thesis analyses the phenomenon of violence against children in the family context through interdisciplinary lenses. It starts by proposing a study of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, definitions of the basic components of the phenomenon – child, family, and violence – as well as an examination of the different types of violence, factors contributing to it and its physical, psychological, and societal consequences. This analysis aims at presenting an overview of the phenomenon, disentangling its main elements to understand its complexity and magnitude. Subsequently, this thesis provides a case study concerning the Association Centro Educacional da Juventude Padre João Piamarta, moving from the general to the particular, to examine a concrete reality and its methods to fight and prevent violence against children. After a general contextualization of violence against children in Brazil – history, statistics, and laws – the case study presents the work of the Association, which offers educational and social services to children in vulnerable situations. An analysis of the common patterns related to violence against children identified in children’s life histories is proposed. Finally, this thesis evaluates the strategies implemented by the Association to prevent and combat cycles of intergenerational violence, as well as their compatibility with a human-rights-based approach and international human rights instruments.
Second semester University: University of Coimbra
violence against children, domestic violence, children, Brazil, case studies