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Peer violence 21 April 2022

The first Monday in October marks International Children's Day, while Children's Week starts on 6 October. Police officers joined the activities of state institutions responsible for the protection of children and their rights, which are being carried out this year under the motto 'You have to love somebody', with their advice and warnings aimed at providing better safety for children in traffic, at home and school.

The safety and well-being of our children must be our primary concern. This is why there is never too much awareness-raising about the vulnerability of children.

As one of the most vulnerable participants in road traffic, children are among the most endangered groups, especially when they are passengers in motor vehicles. We want their routes to school and home to be safe, and this is why police officers carried out numerous activities even before the beginning of the school year, and also inspect the condition of excursion buses and supervise their drivers during the school year. Particular attention is paid to supervising organised transportation of children to schools and transportation of children by their parents. In improving traffic safety, police officers cooperate with traffic education mentors and school managements, and also in driving tests for cyclists.

In the early and evening hours in the autumn, when visibility is reduced, drivers have to be particularly attentive to pedestrians. Children are the most endangered group of pedestrians. Advise them to be as visible as possible in traffic. They should wear bright clothes and items which improve pedestrian visibility (reflective stripes, reflective items), respect traffic regulations; cross streets at designated crossing points, walk on pavements (if available), or on the left side of the road, and try to foresee the actions of other traffic participants.

There are special rules for your children to be safe also when they ride a bicycle: children are allowed to ride a bicycle on a street on their own if older than 14, or if they are at least eight years old and possess a cycling licence. Children are properly trained to ride a bicycle and get a cycling licence from the primary school they attend. Children under 14 who did not pass a cycling test are allowed to ride a bicycle in road traffic only in the presence of an adult, who is allowed to accompany a maximum of two children while taking into account the traffic conditions. Children under 6 are allowed to ride a bicycle only on footpaths or in pedestrian zones, and also in light traffic areas in the presence of an adult. Cyclists under 14 must wear attested cycling helmets, and the same applies for children who are carried on a bicycle as passengers.

Children are also faced with violence. It is most frequently caused by adults, but children also experience different forms of violence, bullying and extortion by older children, which is usually school-related. These are serious problems. It is usually hard to recognise when children become victims of such acts. Nevertheless, such unpleasant experiences may have long-term consequences on children both at home and out of home and in school.

Maybe you think that it makes no difference to children, and that they are not concerned when their parents fight at home. Maybe you believe that children will soon forget what they have seen - a beaten mother or parents who yell and scream at each other. Children do not forget this. Studies have shown that domestic violence is very harmful to children, and they need help to get over it and find themselves again. Many children believe that they are partially to blame and that they are responsible for creating a peaceful atmosphere within the family. But children are never to blame.

Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable groups when using the internet. They can come across pornographic, paedophilic or other inappropriate content willingly or completely by accident. Awareness about what is happening on the internet is very important. Parents should talk to their children and warn them about potential dangers on the internet. Children should be warned that it is not recommended to establish direct contacts via the internet or reveal their personal and family data to strangers.

Children have the right to a peaceful and happy life!

Other prevention projects carried out by the police: The "Officer Leon Advises" (notebook for children), Police For Children (puppet show 'Ena ena tri').