Violence against children: why is Lithuania doing nothing?
A four-year-old boy was slowly beaten to death by his stepfather in Lithuania last week, yet another victim of domestic violence in the country. Many people are schocked and angry that the parliament is still hesitating to make violence in child-rearing a punishable offence. Press commentaries reflect the popular outrage.
Still waiting for answers
When will legislators finally react and make violence in child-rearing a punishable offence? asks Vytaras Radzevičius on the portal 15 min:
“Lithuania in the 21st century. A new-born baby is flushed down the toilet. Two small children are drowned in a well. Another boy is beaten to death because he can't count properly. The social media are ablaze with outrage. ... Very little rational thinking, a lot of emotion. ... But that also reflects the two different Lithuanias. ... The country with violence and the country without it. The brutes who beat their wives and the men who protect theirs. Those who want to reintroduce the death penalty and those who strictly reject it. The devout and the non-believers. The living and the murdered. The questions remain unanswered. What should we do? We must vote.”
Politicians must overcome their hesitation
The WHO and other international institutions long since defined the term 'violence' but for the Lithuanian parliament that clearly wasn't enough, child psychologist Ingrida Bobinienė observes on news website Lrytas:
“The Seimas is discussing whether to reinvent the wheel. Many MPs recently once again hesitated in the vote on the law that forbids any kind of violence against children. And in many Lithuanian families (around half of them) violence is still used against children. Those who were beaten themselves or subjected to other forms of violence by their parents have difficulty understanding that violence is not an appropriate method of parenting. Nevertheless, true leaders should not let their own experiences block them but bring their state forwards. Only in this way can our country develop.”