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Educação e Pesquisa

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BARRERA, María Dilia Mieles; ESPITIA, María Victoria Gaitán  and  GAITAN, Renán Cepeda. Educative institutions and the community faced with child maltreatment: an experience of participative action research. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2012, vol.38, n.1, pp.79-98.  Epub Oct 21, 2011. ISSN 1517-9702.

The study entitled "Diagnostic of Child Maltreatment in Commune 8 of the District of Santa Marta" (Diagnóstico del Maltrato Infantil en la Comuna 8 del Distrito de Santa Marta) sponsored by the Patrimonial Fund for the Development of Research of the University of Magdalena (Santa Marta, Colombia) and conducted by the Research Group in Child Education characterizes the most frequent forms of child maltreatment (CM) in this area of the town, and described the role of educative institutions and of the community in facing this problem. The methodology of Participative-Action-Research (PAR) made it possible to mobilize the civil society, educative institutions, and government organizations to work in the diagnostic and prevention. All forms of maltreatment characterized were identified, and the main perpetrators were seen to belong to the family group. Protecting factors were identified in the families, in the community, and in the State. Extreme poverty and low levels of education are associated to maltreatment, and originate unfair living conditions for children, violations of their rights, and severe damages to their whole development. The study recommends: i) To develop strategies of formation and prevention with families and the community to decrease school and intra-family violence; ii) that educative institutions should intervene with an active preventive function; iii) to organize programs of social, economic, and psychological support that help to improve the quality of life of the families, and contribute to protect children, with the collaboration of universities, and official and institutional bodies; iv) to disseminate widely the results, exposing the worrying presence of child maltreatment, and helping to increase awareness of its prevention.

Keywords : Child maltreatment [CM]; Prevention of maltreatment; Promotion of child care.

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