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The child who was severely beaten in Khashtarak died. Who is to blame?

Armenia shocked by another brutal case of child abuse ․ Do you remember the girl from Gyumri, who was hardly saved? Then there was a noise, they said, talked, criticized, even criticized the child, discussed, high-ranking officials came and went, then everything got lost in the noise…


Half a year later, a new case, this time with a fatal outcome. According to the preliminary investigation, 2 out of 7 children of the family living in Khashtarak were severely beaten, after which they were taken to hospital, where one of the children died without regaining consciousness. The other children in the family were taken to hospital, who, as it turned out, were poisoned by arsenic and were also regularly abused. The 57-year-old grandfather of the children was arrested on charges of causing grievous bodily harm to the minor grandchildren, a criminal case was initiated against his 28-year-old daughter, who is the aunt of the dead child.


While everyone is angry with the woman who beat the children and other family members whose mental health is in serious doubt, the question arises․ And where were the social workers, the employees of the regional administration, the representatives of the guardianship and trusteeship bodies, finally the mayor?


Today, it is clear from the press that at least 3 of the adults living in large families have mental health problems, live in extreme poverty, the mother of the deceased child is registered in a psychiatric hospital. And if they did not know, then worse, then they do not work well, they failed in their work. But it’s not just about them, because the easiest way is to look for and find visible culprits; there will certainly be a low-ranking official in charge of whom the public and higher-ranking officials will be blamed for inaction, will be blamed and may be fired…


To be honest, not only the person who beat the child and the relevant bodies who were inactive are to blame for the child’s death, but also the community where these children lived. Today, when a small body is to be buried, do not the inhabitants of the community, adult men and women, who tell and interview about the inhuman conditions in which the children lived, see the proportion of their guilt in the death of the child…? While seeing the crime  remaining  silent is also a crime, to be indifferent in this case is a crime.Unfortunately, we are convinced once again how tolerant our society is towards domestic violence.


Now that this has happened, have we opened our eyes wide enough to see the children around us being abused, whom we do not consider our own, but someone else’s. “The people, the community have certainly seen the conditions in which the children lived, what they did with the children in that family, because the community is the most seeing eye, especially in the rural environment. If they really wanted to save the child, they would save it. “Semi-open windows” talk show, thousands of people watched the program about them. In other words, t was impossible not to know about the problem, the family… And what happens․ Are human tragedies just a joke, a reality show that they watch for fun and do not worry about finding solutions…


In fact, the problem is not only the Khashtarak community, it is deeper; it concerns the whole society, which continues to insist that there is no violence in Armenian families, goes against the laws that can save such children.


I think if there is a law in the world that will prevent the death of at least one child, will prevent the bitter tears of at least one child, this law must be adopted the day before, because all conspiracy theories are nullified when a child becomes a victim of violence. Is it another solution than the law? Unfortunately, we see that the relevant body is idle, the environment is indifferent, as a rule, the most visible eye of the community only makes jokes, seeks intrigues, as a result no one solves the problem…In fact, it is not solved by existing laws, which, in fact, do not protect the child from violence, otherwise 7 children would not live even one day in the conditions in which they lived. So, perhaps it is worthwhile to try to clarify domestic violence prevention legislation, saving many children who are the weakest link in the chain of domestic tragedies… Let’s just not forget that today’s indifference may cost the life of a child with a different fate tomorrow.


Full text in Armenian

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