Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘child abuse

Guess the corresponding child abuse in these pictures

The new series produced by Cuban artist Erik Ravelo was titled as “The untouchables“, are photographs of children crucified for his supposed oppressors, each for a different reason and a clear message.

Seeking to reaffirm the right of children to be protected and report abuse suffered by them especially in countries such as Brazil, Syria, Thailand, United States and Japan”

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and shoes

Treva Muhammad

“The first image refers to pedophilia in the Vatican.

Second child sexual abuse in tourism in Thailand,

third refers to the war in Syria.

The fourth image refers to the trafficking of organs on the black market, where most of the victims are children from poor countries;

fifth refers to weapons free in the U.S.. And finally,

the sixth image refers to obesity, blaming the big fast food companies.



When child abuse is more social norm than crime

Beating kids as punishment is widespread in Egypt.
What are the consequences, and how can it be stopped?
Every week, Ramy Latchinian gives a free taekwondo class to underprivileged children at his gym in the upscale Cairo district of Maadi – and he struggles to keep them under control.
The decorated master knows instructing kids can be challenging, but he finally realised what made this class extra hard when one of the students suggested how he could better control the hyperactive, disobedient group.
Sherif Tarek, published this Nov. 9, 2014

Two female students in a Cairo primary school on the first day of the on-going school year (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
“Why don’t you just hit them, coach?” said a 12-year-old boy, after repeated attempts from Latchinian to talk the students into behaving. “This is how they are used to being treated. They won’t do as told unless you beat them.”

Having spent most of his life in western countries, and living in Cairo since 2008, the Egyptian-American instructor didn’t comprehend the situation at first. When he asked the kid why he thought roughing up his colleagues was a remedy, Latchinian was stunned to learn that it was the everyday treatment they received at school.

“They told me stories about how they are physically abused daily, not to mention verbally assaulted,” Latchinian said.

“When I asked them how many schoolmasters hit them, there was only one who didn’t, a female math teacher. Even service employees sometimes beat them to force them to clean up classrooms.

“They told me about one boy who had his head cut open when a teacher hit him with a baton. A girl, a student of mine, suffered a seriously swollen arm when she was beaten in a similar manner.”

All the children at the special Taekwondo sessions for underprivileged youths, aged 7 to 12, didn’t want to talk or reveal their names out of fear they would be beaten more by their teachers for speaking out.

“When I asked them what they do when teachers strike them, they told me they hide under benches and place their bags on their heads to protect themselves,” recalled Latchinian. “It was a staggering answer, especially since I only asked them to see what their parents do about it.”

His students are enrolled at the public Degla Primary School, located near the posh Cairo American College in Maadi. They come from poor families; most of their fathers are doormen in the neighbourhood.

Many Egyptian parents would probably say that corporal punishment – whether in schools or at home – is an essential part of child rearing and turning them into disciplined and well-mannered adults.

Latchinian says he was “shocked” when he met his students’ parents to tell them about the abuse he saw.

“A father told me ‘what’s wrong with that?’ while others seemed to accept or even endorse it for the sake of their children’s manners,” he said.

But the parents’ reaction isn’t unusual.

In 2011, parents in a village in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya staged a protest to call for the release of primary teacher Magdy El-Shaer, who had been arrested for appearing in a video beating students with a ruler on different parts of their bodies.

The parents said they beat their kids and that they wanted El-Shaer to spank them some more to straighten them up.

Some parents will take action against teachers only when the beating is seriously harmful.

Latchinian’s student who was beaten on the arm at Degla Primary School says her teachers stopped beating her after her father threatened to file a police report.

Orphans most tormented

While parents might step in when their kids get injured or severely beaten, orphans (no father) at the same school are mostly at the mercy of their teachers.

The vast Awlady (My Kids) Orphanage is right next to Degla Primary School and sends many of its orphans there. According to Latchinian’s students, it’s the orphans who bear the brunt of the daily corporal punishment.

The orphanage’s general manager, Nagwa Hamed, confirmed that children in her establishment “get bruises and sustain injuries on a regular basis as a result of beatings at the hands of teachers.”

She brought in six kids – aged from 7 to 12 – who had all been beaten that day in the school.

Among the students, who all looked terrified, were a girl with finger marks on her swollen right cheek and another with red welts on her back. When asked who beat them, they mentioned some of the same teachers that Latchinian’s students had referred to while speaking of their daily suffering.

When asked why they were smacked, they cited a forgotten book and a request to go the bathroom, among other reasons.

The beating of the 6 kids is deemed “mild” in comparison with many previous cases, stressed Nefisa, a senior psychologist at the private orphanage.

A while ago, she said, “one girl was lashed over her eye and along the cheek with a plastic electricity hose and sustained an ugly injury. She came to us immediately and we filed a report with the police against the female teacher who hit her.”

Nefisa couldn’t recall any other cases that were taken that seriously.

And not only has Awlady Orphanage done little in terms of legal action to stop the beating of its kids, but a good number of its staff believe, like many parents, that physical punishment is important to discipline naughty children.

“There should be disciplinary action for children who are not obedient and wreaking havoc here or in school,” said Basma, one of the orphanage’s female supervisors. “And it’s not like you beat them to death.”

Nefisa explained that supervisors at Awlady Orphanage are allowed to “lightly beat” kids when needed, as per a condition in their contracts. “Sometimes a new supervisor might have a short fuse, so she will beat a girl harder than permitted. I can excuse newcomers twice, but afterwards action will be taken against them.”

In September a manager of a Giza orphanage appeared in a leaked video violently beating a group of children. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Other similar cases have also been reported, raising further questions over the treatment of orphans.

Orphans are estimated at 10,000 nationwide – in 148 orphanages and 83 schools that both shelter and teach young orphans – according to official estimates from Egypt’s ministry of social solidarity. The number of undocumented street kids would raise the figures much higher.

Nefisa assured that “only a light smack on the shoulder or the backhand” is allowed in Awlady Orphanage. “Nothing like how some people savagely beat children, like in the [Degla Primary] school,” she claimed.

‘Inhumane, illegal – yet needed’

Hanging on a wall in the principal’s office at Degla Primary School is a sign that reads: “Teachers are people you can count on.” When speaking of how they treat their students, however, teachers clearly have mixed emotions.

Principal Khaled Tantawy and other teachers find no shame in admitting that they beat children, yet in the same breath they stress that it’s “inhumane.” They think it’s the only choice they have “under the circumstances.”

“If you had over 50 pupils in one class and they were all disobedient, that would be the only way to correct them,” said Tantawy. “When kids are used to being beaten, they won’t respond to any other methods. This is what almost all our students are like, whether from the orphanage or those who have parents, though orphans are more undisciplined.”

This reporter was brought by the principal to a crowded third-grade classroom and then left alone with over 50 students.

In less than 10 minutes, students continuously talked out loud all at once, walked on benches, beat each other, threw water at each other, complained to this reporter about some of these acts and repeatedly asked to go to the bathroom in an apparent attempt to skip class. Verbal attempts to control the room from this reporter – who’s not qualified to be a teacher – mostly failed.

Mohamed Abdullah, a gymnastics instructor who also acts as an Arabic teacher, pointed out that a lack of facilities and activities makes children restless in the classroom. “The school is so small, we don’t have a proper playground to let them play football for instance, so they use up their energy during classes in a negative way.”

“I know beating isn’t good, but when they go wild I spank them. It’s the way we were raised after all,” Abdullah said.

Pupils are beaten when they disturb a class, forget their homework, beat or tease a colleague, disrespect a teacher or sabotage facilities, among other reasons. Teachers react to students’ misbehaviour on their own accord; there are no clear rules concerning how to deal with such cases, explained Tantawy.

“We don’t like beating children, but we all do it for their best interest, to make sure they learn and behave. We don’t do it to browbeat students into private tuition like many other teachers. Most students here are orphans anyways.”

“I wish there was a better way but there isn’t. I know it’s inhumane and illegal, yet it’s needed,” the principal said.

Teachers have been convicted in Egypt for beating students on different occasions. In one infamous incident in 2008, Haitham Nabil, a math teacher in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killed a primary student when he kicked him in the chest. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison for manslaughter.

Degla is one of 15,755 public primary schools across the nation, in which over 9 million students are registered, almost half the country’s students, according to 2013-2014 statistics provided by the education ministry.

“If you want to stop beatings in schools, you have to fix the child raising culture and the whole system, of which teachers are just a tiny part,” said Tantawy.

Vicious circles

Biological families or substitute parents – whether foster parents or orphanage supervisors – along with teaching staff, community members and the mass media all affect children and shape their behaviour, explained Eman Dewdar, a psychologist specialising in children and adolescents.

“All four channels are connected to each other. Parents should be in contact with teachers to follow up on kids’ conditions. The community must be aware of how to treat children properly and that will be promoted by the mass media,” she said.

“In Egypt, we have some individual efforts to fight violence against children amid a lack of awareness or action on all four levels; there are no clear healthy standards or rules for child treatment.”

According to Dewdar, physical punishment usually poses as the easiest way for parents, caregivers and teachers to correct kids. Pressure from daily life also acts as a catalyst.

“Teachers in schools or supervisors in orphanages sometimes take their anger out on kids and there are no pre-emptive procedures. They should undergo tests to verify they are psychologically fit to deal with children, and of course receive the requisite training.”

“We have nothing of that [in Egypt]. I regularly give lectures to orphanage supervisors and teachers on child psychology, and I know that most of them are anything but competent.”

Orphanage supervisors are inspected monthly, said Aziza Amar, head of the Central Administration for Social Care, a body affiliated with the ministry of social solidarity that is responsible for orphanages nationwide.

She assures that child beating is totally prohibited, but when asked about kids who get spanked in orphanages and if there are possible additional measures to preempt such incidents, Amar took a swipe at the media.

“Some supervisors abide by the no-beating rule while others don’t, which is normal. Everyone makes mistakes; it is the media that blows things out of proportion,” she said in a defensive tone. “Those who raise their hands against kids get salary sanctions, deductions or even fired.”

A spokesman for the education ministry, Hani Kamal, said in a very brief statement that the ministry’s governorate departments periodically send guides to schools who are supposed to advise teachers on how to appropriately deal with young students, among other duties.

When taekwondo coach Latchinian filed a complaint at the education ministry over the beating of his students at Degla Primary School, the ministry sent representatives to the school who took down students’ testimonies. No action was immediately taken, as the kids say teachers still spank them.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says it is impossible to accurately measure child abuse due to a lack of data, as many incidents are never reported. The organisation’s website estimates that 500 million to 1.5 billion kids globally are subjected to violence every year.

Children in Egypt are estimated at more than one third of the over 90 million population.

To communicate with kids, Dewdar says, “you need to go down to their level, you don’t treat them as grown-ups. You punish them by depriving them of recreational activities, by isolating them for a while and the punishment should be equivalent to their wrongdoing.”

“You reward them when they do something good. You treat them all equally and always engage them whether in studying or other activities. You don’t beat them. You don’t make them feel they’re outcasts.”

Babies are responsive to violence from their very early days onwards, she says.

In the first 6 years of their lives, verbal or physical abuse can cause sleeping problems, a lack of self-confidence and fear. Afterwards, it can result in difficulty focusing and in aggressive behavior,” Dewdar said.

“They will know they cannot retaliate against the source of power, parents at home and teachers at school, so they will take their frustration out on objects such as toys, or a peer, a colleague, for example. They will be restless in general and hard to control.”

Even worse, she explains, is that kids who are often beaten are more prone to sexual abuse. “Their bodies have already been violated, and consequently become less valuable to them. With many people beating them, they might not feel something is wrong if someone touches them the wrong way.”

Children that are beaten can turn into adults with a lack of self-esteem or decision-making abilities, problems that will increase according to the frequency of their beatings. “They could turn into violent persons, thugs or sexual harassers. Violence generates more violence.”

Person of the Year by Time Magazine: Why Pope Francis?

Pope Francis has been declared Time’s Person Of The Year.

Looking back on 2013, has Francis done  a few incredibly progressive activities to lead the Church?

Mark Pygas posted:

I Knew Pope Francis Was Good, But When I Found Out Everything He Did in 2013, I Was Blown Away

1. He spoke out against frivolous spending by the Church

Pope-Francis-I-Angelus-and-Blessing-from-the-window-overlooking-St-Peter-s-SquareSource: average set of cardinal’s clothes costs as much as $20,000.

In October, Pope Francis urged officials to dress more modestly and to not squander such money. In the same month, he ordered a German bishop to explain how he had spent $3 million on a marble courtyard. Source:

2. He invited a boy with Downs Syndrome for a ride in the Popemobile


During a general audience, Pope Francis invited Alberto di Tullio, a 17-year-old boy with Downs Syndrome, to ride in his Popemobile while thousands watched. The boy and his father were said to be “chocked up” when he was embraced by the Pope. Source:

3. He embraced and kissed Vinicio Riva


November saw Pope Francis embrace Vinicio Riva, a man scarred by a genetic disease. Fighting agonising pain on a daily basis, such an act restored the faith of a man who says he is often mocked in public. Source:

4. He denounced the judgment of homosexuals


Pope Francis has stated several times that the Church has no right to interfere spiritually in the lives of gays and lesbians. Though Francis maintained the right of the Church to express opinions on homosexuality, he believed that Christians should not judge or ridicule.

This led to The Advocate, a gay  rights magazine, naming Francis the ‘single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people.’ Source:

5. He held a major ceremony at the chapel of a youth prison


In March, the Pope held a major Holy Week service at Casal del Marmo jail for minors, rather than the Vatican. During the service, the pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 young offenders to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility towards his apostles on the night before he died. During the service, he broke tradition by washing the feet of women and Muslims. Source:

6. He urged the protection of the Amazon Rainforest

20130728nw155 [amazon pope]-001Source:

During his visit to Brazil, Pope Francis met with natives who have been fighting ranchers and farmers attempting to invade their land. He encouraged that the Amazon be treated as a garden and protected, along with it’s native people. Source:

7. He personally called and consoled a victim of rape


A 44-year old Argentinian woman, raped by a local policeman, was one of thousands to write a letter to Pope Francis in 2013. The woman was surprised when she later received a phone call from Francis himself–who consoled the woman and told her, “You are not alone.”


8. He snuck out of the Vatican to feed the homeless


More recently, it has been discovered that Pope Francis regularly leaves the Vatican at night to feed the homeless. Dressed as an ordinary priest, he joins Archbishop Konrad Krajewski to feed the poor of Rome.


10. He acknowledged that atheists can be good people


Earlier in 2013,  Pope Francis spoke out against the common interpretation within the Church that atheists, by nature, are bad people. He stated that, “Atheists should be seen as good people if they do good.” After meeting the Pope, the openly atheist president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, compared Francis to a friendly neighbor. Source:

11. He condemned the global financial system


In May, Francis denounced the global financial system for tyrannizing the poor and turning humans into expendable consumer goods. He believes that, “Money has to serve, not to rule!” Source:

12. He fought child abuse


The Catholic Church has been rocked in recent years by allegations and admissions of child abuse by members of the Church. Pope Francis became the first Pope to take effective action against such atrocities. He ammended Vatican law to make sexual abuse of children a crime, and he also established a committee to fight abuse. Source:

13. He condemned the violence of the Syrian civil war


In regard to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Pope Francis asked for peace and declared that, “War, never again. Violence never leads to peace, war leads to war, violence leads to violence.” Source:

14. He redirected employee bonuses to charity


When a new Pope is elected, Vatican employees receive a bonus. Upon his election, the extra money was given to directly to charity instead. Source:

15. He spoke out against the Church’s ‘obsession’ with abortion, gay marriage and contraception


In a voice of reason, Francis shocked the Catholic world when he stated that the Church was an unhealthy obsession with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. He criticized the Church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. Source:

16. He called for cooperation between Christians and Muslims

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead Angelus at VaticanSource:

During his Angelus address, Francis paid respect to the end of Ramadan. He stated that both Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and he hoped that Christians and Muslims would work together to promote mutual respect.


17. He took part in a selfie


In what might be his most progressive feat of all, Pope Francis met with youngsters to be part of a truly remarkable selfie. His is embracing the present, and he is undoubtedly taking the Church to a more loving and accepting future.


18. He invited homeless men to his birthday meal

Pope Francis and archbishop Konrad Krajewski welcome some homeless men at the VaticanSource:

On December 17, Pope Francis invited a group of homeless men and their dog into the Vatican to share his birthday meal along with his staff. The Pope had decided that he wanted a small birthday event, which would do some good, rather than a large and expensive event. Source:

19. He refused to send away a child who had run on stage to hug him


During the Year of Faith Celebrations, a young boy ran on stage as the Pope was giving a speech. When assistants tried to remove the boy, Francis allowed him to stay. Source:




April 2023

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