In many Lebanese families from various backgrounds, parents tend to resort to violent forms of discipline while raising their children. In fact, more than 6 in 10 children are still subject to violent discipline every month across the country.
In light of the alarming reality, UNICEF Lebanon has launched an #EndViolence campaign to shed light on the dangers of domestic violence and promote positive parenting as well as alternative discipline methods.
UNICEF Lebanon launched the campaign as part of a global initiative, with a tagline that reads #بدي_ربيك_بلا_عنف (I want to raise you without violence).
The campaign encourages caregivers to raise children in healthy environments and adopt nonviolent discipline methods - be it at home, at school or at a community level.
"Language mirrors society, it reflects how we think and act. So eventually, UNICEF wants to bring back the true meaning of the words 'I'll teach you a lesson' – away from a violent punishment into raising with love and care," Tanya Chapuisat, a UNICEF Lebanon Representative, said in a press release.
The campaign also saw Lebanon's Minister of Social Affairs, Pierre Bou Assi, discuss the ministry's strategy to strengthen child protection in Lebanon, in accordance with the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF released two videos that accurately depict the situation
As part of the campaign, UNICEF Lebanon released two short films that depict the violence children often face.
The first video, found above, reveals children's perspective when it comes to their parents' disciplinary methods.
The film captures a group of children gathered in an acting class and asked to play the role of the parents.
When they were asked to act out the role of a parent attempting to discipline a child, they revealed the abusive methods their parents use, from threatening with slippers and wooden spoons to addressing children with derogatory words.
Meanwhile, in the second video, parents of the children are seen watching the first film.
The parents, many of whom were left in tears, then discussed the reasons behind their parenting methods. Some said that it is simply how they were raised themselves, while others said they resort to violence out of desperation.
However, the parents finally acknowledged that compassion is the ideal parenting method and vowed not to be violent with their children.
Violent parenting methods are widespread across the country
According to a 2016 UNICEF Household Survey, over 57 percent of children living in Lebanon aged 1-14, from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and across all religions and cultures, experience a form of violent discipline, whether physical or psychological, from a parent or caregiver.
"Since violence is often tolerated or hidden from public view, the numbers are unlikely to reflect the true magnitude of the issue," UNICEF stated.