2020 | 7(1) | 125-135
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Education and families experiencing the problem of domestic violence - between engagement and indifference

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Discussions about the support system for children experiencing violence have been taking place both on an international forum as well as locally in Poland. (Zmarzlik, 2011; Wójcik, 2013; Jarosz, 2007; Jarosz, 2008; Jarosz, 2018; Dąbrowska, 2012). The questions about who should undertake tasks in this area and what their scope and type should be are still unresolved. Individuals who work with abused children agree that teachers may be an important link in the support system due to their role. The purpose of the current study is to examine the tasks of the school in the context of the experience of children growing up in a family with a problem of domestic violence. In contemporary discourses on preventing domestic violence against children, the active participation of the children themselves in creating solutions in this area is increasingly emphasized. Due to the participatory and emancipatory character of the project, the current research represents the paradigm of qualitative methodology and, within it, the assumptions of radical humanism. The final result is a description which includes answers to the above research questions and an analysis of legal and statutory actions aimed at social emancipation through education and participation of individuals experiencing domestic violence. In light of international standards of support for abused children, education can and should play a significant support role. Education and participation are considered significant factors in the social emancipation of children - victims of domestic violence - and their families. However, in the perception of individuals experiencing violence, schools do not effectively fulfill their role in this respect. It seems that the place a teacher will take in the process of supporting abused children and their families will depend largely on how the teachers themselves define their own role, as well as on the appropriate legislative solutions for their education. I think that the curricula of teachers’ studies should not only include obligatory exercises in cooperation procedures and communication skills workshops, but they should also address issues shaping active attitudes towards the situations the teachers will find themselves in over the course of their careers.
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