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Psychologist: Growing issue of child violence at school starts in the home

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Jul 2018, 12:47PM
A child psychologist says children who are being violent at school are usually just acting out what they experience at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Psychologist: Growing issue of child violence at school starts in the home

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Fri, 27 Jul 2018, 12:47PM

Child psychologist Sara Chatwin says a NZEI report by the primary teachers union, that says 41 percent of senior teachers were subjected to violence last year, is spot on and the issue is a growing one. 

She told Kerre McIvor that the source of the problem lies with serious dysfunction in the family structure and stems from children's experiences of violence, neglect, drug abuse and just 'slipping through the love-net'.

"They learn violence in the home, they see it, they imitate it at school. So when it presents at school you're some way down the track, that's not where it starts, it started a long time before that."

"We've got multiplicity of issues starting for the child much earlier than when they present at school and they are just bringing to school some of the issues that they are facing every day in the home."

Chatwin says the problem is one that is getting worse and requires a coordinated response from both official organisations and the entire community.

"Communication is a great thing, but in this instance if we are not going to follow that communication with action then we are not doing any better."

"If we are not living in neighbourhoods where we see abuse and choose to speak up, we front up, we do something about it. If we are not going to do that then this is going to go on and on and it's only going to get worse."

She says she also believes children who have been through traumatising experiences can recover and live fulfilled happy lives if they receive the help they need.

LISTEN ABOVE AS SARA CHATWIN TALKS TO KERRE MCIVOR

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