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Children and violence: an introductory, international and interdisciplinary approach

Introduction

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Children are subject to many forms of adversity, for example, poverty or ill health. However, a significant form of adversity experienced by children in many different regions of the world is violence. The form of violence against children varies widely and is hugely disparate. In this unit, the focus is on three different environments where children experience violence: at home, among peers at school and in the wider society (in the context of armed conflicts). The text considers the experiences of children both locally and globally. For this reason, violence against children should not be considered a phenomenon that is remote. Sadly, children may experience violence in their families and among their peers, and may also become involved in armed conflict. The unit considers in detail the daily experiences of violence which can have negative impacts on the physical or emotional health of children and moves from ideas about children and violence in very localized contexts – within families and with peers at school – through to the broader community and on to the international perspective. It also analyses the different roles that children take on in relation to violence, such as victim, perpetrator, witness, colluder and peacemaker.

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Childhood (U212) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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