YOU ARE STRONG: (Psychological support for CP and GBV children Project)
It’s important to understand the effects of the children early experiences on their mental health and long-term development, with possible consequences for society at large. Many of the residents in Lebanon (local residents, refugees and IDPs) have experienced trauma and loss. Children who are exposed to war and violence or poverty at high risk for suffering from mental health problems. Research on children identifies posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the most common such problem, followed by depression. the children also tend to have higher levels of behavioral or emotional problems, including aggression and other affective disorders.
The onset of these mental health problems can have long-term negative consequences. Children who suffer from PTSD or depression, or exhibit difficult behaviors, we must find ways to cope with their symptoms as soon as possible, by a setting that provides little, if any, support to address such problems. These problems are only exacerbated when caring adults (parents or others) are missing from the lives of the children, perhaps because they have died or been left behind or get busy at work. These mental health problems yield a high cost for society.
The education crisis also directly contributes to mental health issues and dangers. Children who are not formally educated are more likely to feel marginalized and hopeless, making them vulnerable targets for radicalization.
Child labor is widespread in Lebanon and this refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide.
Many children exposed to violence in the home are also victims of physical abuse. Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of being violent in their future relationships. If a parent is an experienced abuse when was a child, it can be difficult to know how to protect the child.
The neglect of children can also carry civil unrest across generations. Girls who are not enrolled in school are at risk for sexual assaults, sexual exploitation, and early marriage, all of which can contribute to depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders – both of them and their children. In the long term, these serious impediments to the children’s healthy maturation and preparation for adulthood may greatly inhibit the successful building of their future and could lead to decades of poverty and unrest.
The phenomenon of Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence directed against a person because of that person's gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately. Violence against women is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and shall mean all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in physical harm, sexual harm, psychological, or economic harm or suffering to women. It can include violence against women, domestic violence against women, men or children living in the same domestic unit. Although women and girls are the main victims of GBV, it also causes severe harm to families and communities.