Mental abuse quiz

Emotional Abuse Test: Am I In an Abusive Relationship?

Relationship abuse isn’t always easy to spot — even if you’re in the relationship.

While physical violence is the first thing to come to many people’s minds, abuse often involves other types of maltreatment. Sometimes it’s subtle manipulation, cruel words, giving the “silent treatment,” or taking extreme control of the finances.

Recognizing abuse when you see it is the first step toward helping yourself or someone you love stay safe.

Relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence (IPV), is quite common, affecting more than 10 million people per year in the United States.

In many cases, IPV falls under the umbrella of domestic violence, which is any violence within a family unit. However, IPV can also happen among couples who are not living together.

IPV may involve emotional or psychological aggression, physical or sexual violence, financial abuse, or stalking behaviors.

The frequency and severity of abuse in relationships can vary widely from occasional instances to daily maltreatment. A common thread among all cases is the abusive person’s attempts to control their partner.

There are several types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse. Physical abuse involves intentional bodily harm. This could include slapping, punching, choking, kicking, pinching, shoving, forcing drugs, or physically restraining a partner against their will.
  • Emotional abuse. Emotional or verbal abuse involves cruel words or attitudes meant to control, demean, or punish in some way. (eg. calling a partner worthless or stupid, or giving the “silent treatment”) Research shows that emotional abuse may be a contributing factor to the development or severity of illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Psychological abuse. Psychological or mental abuse involves the slow wearing down of a person’s sense of self over time, and may even make them doubt their sanity. Gaslighting falls under this type of abuse.
  • Sexual abuse. This involves any type of sexual assault, rape, or the weaponizing of sex.
  • Financial abuse. This involves the controlling of money so the partner is unable to have or spend money without the other’s permission.

What motivates abusers to control?

Research suggests there are several reasons why abusers attempt to control their partners:

  • jealousy
  • anger problems
  • feeling inferior
  • poor self-esteem
  • cultural beliefs they have the right to control their partner
  • personality or mental health disorder
  • learned behavior from growing up in an environment where IPV was accepted
  • alcohol and drug use

In general, abusive behaviors are those that intend to:

  • harm
  • control
  • intimidate
  • threaten
  • humiliate
  • manipulate
  • degrade
  • blame
  • harass
  • isolate partner from others

Signs of relationship abuse

IPV can be difficult to identify. There are many things a partner can do to act in an abusive manner. These are some of the more common ones.

Does your partner…

  • blame you for how they act or feel?
  • say that you’d be nothing without them?
  • make you feel like there’s no way out of the relationship?
  • blame alcohol or drugs for their behavior?
  • act extremely jealous or possessive?
  • call you numerous times to make sure you’re where you said you’d be?
  • say cruel things to you or call you names?
  • intimidate or threaten you to get what they want?
  • embarrass you in front of your friends and family?
  • make you feel like you can’t take care of yourself or make decisions?
  • pressure you into sex?
  • minimize or make fun of your accomplishments?
  • prevent you from doing what you want?
  • keep you separated from your family and friends?
  • control all the money?
  • interrogate you about where you’ve been?
  • threaten you with violence?
  • treat you in a rough way: push, grab, shove, or hit you?

This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone looking to find out whether they may be in an abusive relationship.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing the signs can help you navigate the situation.

Even if it’s not a domestic violence situation, a mental health professional can help if you’re having trouble with conflict resolution and establishing healthy relationship boundaries.

This online screening is not an official evaluation of your relationship or your partner’s behavior.

It’s a tool to help you better understand whether you may be involved in a relationship that could be considered abusive — emotionally, physically, or both.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing how to navigate the situation safely is crucial.

When you’re ready, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or social services about next steps. You’re not alone, and help is available.

If you feel you’re in danger and need help immediately, call 911. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (SAFE) or text “Start” to 88788 for help.

There are numerous resources available to you if you’re experiencing IPV. Here are a few:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline. Free, confidential hotline to get non-judgmental support for both survivors and perpetrators.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Preventing stalking. Fast facts on how to prevent stalking.
  • The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Personalized safety plan.
  • Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC). Information for targets of stalking.
  • Help for male victims of domestic violence.

Am I being abused? Find out with our FREE Emotional Abuse Test

Take the

FREE Emotional Abuse Test. Know the signs of an emotionally abusive relationship

More than ONE MILLION INDIVIDUALS have taken this scientific-based Emotional Abuse Test!*

No email is required. Immediate results. Private and confidential.
Find out in 2-minutes if you are living with an emotional abuser!

The Emotional Abuse Test explained

Emotional abuse is a form of psychological abuse and occurs when one individual dominates another. This type of abuse can take many forms such as insults, criticism, belittling, name-calling, threats, and physical violence (domestic violence requires its own type of solution).

The Emotional Abuse Test is a tool to help determine if you are in an abusive relationship. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions on this test, there is a chance you are being emotionally abused by your husband or wife, or boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you are in a high-conflict relationship, it is important to know the common signs of abuse to determine if you are emotionally abused.

Please note: that verbal abuse, mental abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and financial abuse are all variations of emotional abuse. This professional emotional abuse quiz is based on the work of Brian Jory, Ph.D. in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Emotional Abuse Test — 15 easy to answer questions

  • This emotional abuse quiz is completely FREE
  • No email is required
  • Immediate results
  • Private and Confidential

FREE Bonus: Get The 12 PRINCIPLED POSITIONS To End The Abuse found at the end of this post. Print it out and use it as a guide to stop emotional abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse.

Note: The results of this Emotional Abuse Test are not definitive, and for the most accurate results seek the counsel of a certified relationship specialist. The author of this site, Abe Kass, assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies or unintended misinformation. The user of this Emotional Abuse Test and associated information does so at his or her own risk.

Here is the meaning of the test results from your emotional abuse quiz:

0 – 2 POINTS

Based on your emotional abuse quiz score, likely there is no emotional abuse in your relationship.

You have a healthy relationship. Your partner behaves respectfully and kindly towards you. You are fortunate!

Hopefully, you also treat your partner with kindness and respect.

Your relationship future looks good.

3 – 7 POINTS

Based on your emotional abuse quiz score, likely you are reasonably safe from emotional abuse, or if it is present, it is minor.

However, if you and your partner are not careful, your relationship could slip into a situation where it becomes abusive.

Monitor relationship interactions that include bickering, anger, reduced romance/sex, or ignoring each other. Find out if you are in a toxic relationship and need to take preventative action to prevent abuse as explained in the section about cures for a toxic relationship.

Relationship problems that are not dealt with can become chronic, difficult to reverse, and eventually lead to a pattern of abuse.

8 – 12 POINTS

Based on your test score, it is likely you are being emotionally abused.

You are advised to make positive changes in your relationship to establish safety and to prevent the abuse from getting worse.

It is important to know that your partner may not intend to hurt you. They may benefit from learning relationship skills so they know how to behave properly. For example, some individuals upon learning anger management skills go on to stop their abusive behavior.

Let your partner take this emotional abuse quiz to increase their awareness of what emotional abuse is and how to avoid it.

Assistance from a qualified professional relationship specialist can be of great assistance as well as self-help programs such as books, audio programs, or courses on abuse.

Consider buying my book on emotional abuse. The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know. It is easy to read, inexpensive, and available as an immediate download or as a paperback from Amazon. See below to learn more about The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know.


Based on your Emotional Abuse Test score, it seems like there are dangerous levels of emotional abuse in your relationship.

Your test results suggest that you find a professional who is experienced and knowledgeable on abuse to help you fully assess the levels of the abuse in your relationship. You need to be certain you and other family members are safe from physical violence. After you know you are safe, you can then consider your options to free yourself from your emotionally abusive situation.

Your emotional abuser MUST change for the better if you are to have a loving, respectful, and friendship-based relationship and healthy self-esteem.

However, if your abuser will not change, you need to evaluate whether you should continue to live with him or her.

The longer you remain in an abusive relationship, the greater the risk of serious injury and long-term harm. To protect yourself, and if you have children to protect them as well, you need to develop with the help of others, a realistic plan to free yourself from abuse.

Knowledge is power. Learn more about abuse. Buy my book on emotional and other types of abuse, The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know. It is inexpensive and available as an immediate download or as a paperback from Amazon. See below to learn more about The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know.

Emotional abuse hurts!

Learn more about emotional abuse

The more you know about emotional abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse, the greater will be your protection from this relationship disease.

Emotional abuse warning signs

Does the following describe your relationship?

  • Does your partner insist he or she is always right and you are always wrong?
  • Do you have the feeling that your partner wants you to admit that he or she is superior to you?
  • Do you tiptoe around your partner for fear of triggering an angry outburst?
  • Is your partner often grumpy, irritable, or disagreeable?
  • Does your partner withhold affection?
  • Does your partner threaten to commit suicide if you leave him or her?
  • Does your partner break items or hide your things?
  • Does your partner threaten to take the children from you?
  • Does your partner threaten you?
  • Is your partner selfish and uncooperative?
  • Does your partner insist you have sex even when you don’t want to?
  • Is your partner easily angered and slow to calm down?
  • Does your partner threaten or bully you when he or she doesn’t get his or her way?
  • Do you always feel unloved or misunderstood by your partner?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it is likely you are emotionally abused. You need to learn more to find out the truth — are you in an abusive relationship or not? If you have not yet taken the Emotional Abuse Test, do it now to find out if you are being abused and how bad it may be.

Profile of an abuser

Does your abuser think he or she is:

  • Smarter than you (more educated, more religious, etc.)
  • Stronger than you (emotionally or physically)
  • More privileged than you (has more money, comes from a better family, has a better job, etc.)
  • More aggressive than you and thus has the right to control you (“might-makes-right”)
  • If your abuser is a man, he may believe he has gender-based rights mistakenly thinking society or religion gives him the right to control you

An abuser uses these false arguments and gaslighting to justify his or her actions to hurt and control you. Don’t be fooled by these tactics.

Everybody has a human right to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality. No one deserves to be abused!

Long term effects of living with an emotionally abusive relationship

Emotionally abusive relationships are painful in every way. Abused individuals suffer from debilitating anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem.

When emotional abuse goes unchallenged, there remains the very real possibility of domestic violence leading to physical injury and a trip to the hospital or an arrest by the police or both!

If children are witnesses to an emotionally abusive relationship, their trust in their parents will be eroded and instead of learning healthy relationship skills, they are learning the opposite. Being in the presence of an emotionally abusive relationship is harmful in many ways.

The longer the emotionally abusive situation continues, the more difficult it will be for you to heal once the abuse has stopped.

Accepting an emotionally abusive relationship is harmful to everyone in your household!

Abuse hurts everyone!

Don’t accept abuse

Understand that respect and kindness are a ‘human right’ — not something that needs to be earned.

You are not to blame for any abuse in your relationship. The fault for the abusive relationship lies with your abuser — and it is he or she who must learn how to be reasonable, kind, and respectful.

If someone is treating you abusively, you need to take decisive action to end the abuse.

Not every selfish, unloving, or angry partner is an abuser

Some partners, although very unpleasant to be around, simply lack the skills to control their anger and behave with consistent kindness, sensitivity, and friendship, but they are not abusers.

Emotional abusers are not only selfish, unloving, and angry, they ALSO seek to control their partners. Abusers want to dominate, make all the decisions, and direct every aspect of their partner’s life.

If your partner is not trying to control you, his or her bad behavior is likely based on relationship ignorance and not abuse.

Knowing the truth about your relationship — if it is abusive or not — is necessary so you can take practical steps to improve your relationship, protect yourself, and protect other family members.

A non-abusive, unpleasant partner can be helped by learning relationship skills. Such a partner has no interest in controlling you. He or she selfishly wants to get his or her way. And yes, this is ‘wrong’ — but it is NOT abuse!

There are many types of relationship conflicts that look like an emotionally abusive situation, but are not. Learn as much as you can about abuse so you can make an accurate assessment of what you need to do to fix your relationship.

Take my Take the Free Healthy Relationship Quiz to learn more about the quality of your relationship.

You think you are in an abusive relationship! What next?

You took the Emotional Abuse Test and the results indicate high levels of emotional abuse.

If you are in an emotionally abusive situation, you need to find an effective way to stop this abuse!

Learn as much as you can about the warning signs of abuse and the damage abuse causes.

After you have become knowledgeable as to what abuse is, the next step is to take a strong stand to reject abuse and protect yourself.

Read carefully the following 12 decisions YOU need to make to stop being abused:


1. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to humiliate, shame, degrade, curse, or threaten you.

2. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to intimidate, control or force you to do something you don’t want to do.

3. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to dismiss your feelings, ideas, or values.

4. Systematically ignoring you is emotional abuse. Do not accept such treatment from your partner.

5. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not surrender your independence and autonomy by submitting to your partner’s will.

6. Make a decision for yourself not to accept extreme selfishness from your partner to the point where it is dismissive of your needs and wants.

7. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to isolate you from family or friends.

8. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to withhold money or confiscate your personal belongings such as car keys, phone, or other personal property.

9. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to touch you in a hostile way or threaten to do so by making his hand into a fist, or getting very close to your face with his face, or any other menacing and threatening way.

10. Make a decision for yourself and take a firm stand that you will not allow your partner to behave in an extremely jealous and possessive way that impacts your peace of mind, challenges your dignity, and restricts your freedom.

11. Make a decision to get outside help to stop the abuse. DON’T REMAIN SILENT. Don’t cooperate and allow the abuse to continue!

12. Recognize that you do not need to live as an abused person. If you want, you can leave your abusive partner.

Taking the Emotional Abuse Test is not enough!

After taking the Emotional Abuse Test, if you learn you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you need to know how to stop the abuse and protect yourself and other family members.

Abusive relationships will not fix themselves! However, emotionally abusive relationships can often be fixed, but only when you take appropriate action.

Know your abuser CAN change for the better IF he or she wants to. No one forces him or her to be emotionally abusive, verbally abusive, psychologically abusive, sexually abusive, or financially abusive!

However, you must start the process to stop the abuse.

Note: Physical abuse or domestic violence is more dangerous than emotional abuse. Sadly, many individuals have been injured or even murdered by their partners. Physical violence or domestic violence requires special remedies and is NOT measured in this emotional abuse quiz.

Learn more about what to do if there is physical violence or domestic violence in your relationship.

Get more information on domestic violence at the National Network To End Domestic Violence.

Next step to stop the abuse

For 30-plus years as a professional couples therapist, I have been working to help individuals change their abusive relationships into ones of respect and love.

Now you can have my professional guidance to help you free yourself from abuse!

For only a few dollars, you can get my book, The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know.

Knowledge is POWER! Protect yourself, and free yourself from living with emotional abuse by learning more.

In this authoritative guide, The 15 Essential Facts Victims of Emotional Abuse Need to Know, you will learn:

  • The many ways that emotional abuse destroys relationships
  • The different types of emotional abuse that victims suffer from
  • The difference between normal marital conflict and an emotional abuse marriage or an emotionally abusive relationship
  • The role of anger in emotional abuse
  • Gender differences in how abuse is expressed
  • The five dynamics that characterize emotional abuse
  • Why, if you are the victim of emotional abuse, it is not your fault
  • The answer to the important question: Can emotional abusers change?
  • What to do if there is physical abuse or domestic violence in your marriage or committed relationship
  • How to prevent emotional abuse in the future
  • and much more

Act now to stop the abuse

No one should agree to live in an abusive relationship.

If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to reclaim your human right to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality.

Get more help from qualified professionals:

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

The Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

About the author of the Emotional Abuse Test

Abe Kass, MA, RSW, RMFT, is a Registered Social Worker, Registered Couple and Family Therapist, and award-winning Educator. He has a busy clinical practice in Toronto, Canada, and worldwide using Zoom and the phone.

After many years of clinical practice and research, Abe concluded that practical solutions requiring a focused effort of no more than a few minutes a day for specific relationship problems were critically needed. This website and GoSmartLife Publishing House have been created to fill this need. This emotional abuse quiz is part of Abe’s efforts to improve stressed relationships and contribute to the well-being of every individual.

* This Emotional Abuse Test is adapted and modified by Abe Kass from THE INTIMATE JUSTICE SCALE: AN INSTRUMENT TO SCREEN FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE AND PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IN CLINICAL PRACTICE By Brian Jory, Ph.D. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, January 2004, Volume 30, Number 1, 29 – 44. You can read this article at Wiley Online Library, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Psychological violence and ways of coping

Zyuzkina Anastasia Andreevna, psychologist of the health care institution "City Clinical Psychiatric Dispensary"

Often domestic violence against women and children is not perceived as an act of violence.

The topic of psychological abuse is broad, this issue is relevant not only in the field of the family system, but also in the sphere of work.

For example, in the scientific literature, psychological violence is called mobbing - the employer's disrespectful attitude towards employees in the context of labor relations. Situations where periodically (at least once a week) the employee is humiliated and harassed by the team or the manager, the purpose of which is to dismiss the employee during the period of employment. Mobbing is manifested in the oppression of a long period of time and includes negative statements, unfounded criticism, social isolation of an employee, dissemination of deliberately false information about a person, and more. nine0003

Psychological consequences for the object of mobbing are so serious that social significance is perceived as traumatic and compared with murder, rape and robbery. Some people even think about suicide.

Most often, psychological abuse occurs in the family. The main victims of domestic violence are women and children. The consequences of psychological violence include sleep and appetite disorders, alcoholism, reckless committing of traumatic actions, a change in the nature of the individual. nine0003

Psychological violence is a form of influencing the emotions or psyche of a partner through threats, intimidation, insults, criticism, condemnation, etc. That is, a constant verbal negative impact on another person. More often this type of violence is subjected to wives from their husbands, much less often vice versa.

Psychological abuse can escalate into physical abuse.

Domestic violence also spreads in cohabitation as cohabitation. Most often it is a form of psychological abuse. Psychological abuse is on a par with physical abuse, since the personality is violated by suppressing self-esteem. Under such conditions, the person who is targeted by the negative impact does not assess the situation as dangerous and sometimes it is necessary to convince them that they have become precisely the victims. Beliefs are formed as if she herself is to blame, misunderstood, did not tolerate, did not prove, provoked. As a result, personal characteristics are formed: self-restraint, alienation, negativism, refusal to express one's own position. nine0003

Insults, violence, mistreatment in psychology is called abuse. The person who forces to do something, offends, forces to perform actions that are unpleasant to another person, respectively, is an abuser.

The reasons why one partner affects the psyche of another are varied, the most common: the need for self-realization and self-affirmation at the expense of the other, difficulties in the inability to express one's desires and thoughts, past experience, financial dependence on one's partner, the perception of violence as a norm in family behavior, propaganda of violence in the media / movies / video games, psychological deviations in the form of a psychological trauma. nine0003

With constant criticism, the self-esteem of the victim decreases to a certain level and self-confidence is shaky, in this state it is easier for the tyrant to impose his opinion and desired behavior. The victim in such a state of mind doubts the correctness of his actions, a feeling of insignificance and guilt is instilled. By psychologically influencing such a person, another model of life is laid, the position of a tyrant is adopted and control is exercised on his part.

There are many signs of psychological violence and a combination of signs is used to determine it, and not each factor individually:

  • criticism - a rough assessment of shortcomings, comments about appearance, intelligence, taste preferences, such criticism may be followed by insults.
  • Humiliation - insults, rough treatment.
  • Accusation - conviction of guilt, for example, in family failures and shifting responsibility for everything that happens.
  • Despotism - commanding tone in communication, orders and instructions instead of requests.
  • Intimidation - Threats of physical violence against the victim and their loved ones, limiting prohibitions on contact with children and threats from the tyrant to commit suicide. nine0038
  • Prohibition to communicate with relatives, friends, colleagues, deprivation of means of communication.
  • Prohibited from visiting places outside the home and obtaining permission from a partner to leave the house.
  • Permanent presence, partner rarely leaves alone.
  • Monitoring behavior and communication outside the home, checking private messages, checking call lists, checking email, installing software, hidden or open surveillance (video surveillance). nine0038

Emotional abuse also includes jealousy, which manifests itself in constant accusations of adultery.

A psychological abuser has such qualities as: disrespectful attitude towards a partner and his life principles; the imposition of help that was not asked for, generosity that puts you in an awkward position; total control; jealousy; threatening behavior; the presence of double standards “I can, but you can’t”; life credo "a man (woman) is never guilty of anything." nine0003

There are several types of psychological violence. Gaslighting is one of the most severe forms of psychological abuse. The gaslighter denies their partner or child adequateness using the phrases “it seemed to you”, “it didn’t happen”, “you just don’t understand it”. The victim is instilled that the perception of the environment is erroneous, therefore, the victim is convinced that she is going crazy. Neglect - ignoring any needs, arguing that a person does not need it, deliberate negligence. Sometimes the abuser pushes his partner to plastic surgery, refuses to deal with everyday life and children. In this situation, it is best to isolate yourself from the abuser. nine0009 Visholding - refusal to discuss an exciting topic. Emotional blackmail - ignoring any action of the victim, emotional coldness, silence, blackmail with personal information. The purpose of such behavior is the subordination of another person, deprivation of one's own will, and only by limiting communication can one protect himself from this. Ignoring - emotional withdrawal. Isolation - prohibition of communication with everyone except the abuser himself, so the request for help is difficult to carry out. nine0009 Control - tight control over any actions of the partner. Criticism - pointing out shortcomings and miscalculations, that in front of other people it looks like ridicule. The purpose of such behavior is to form an inferiority complex, after such an impact it is difficult to recover from such a relationship, faith in oneself, partnership is lost.

It is best for the victim to get out of the situation of violence (even run away, disappear from view). Victims of psychological abuse cannot avoid mental problems. Such people are in a state of psychological trauma and experience anxiety, fear, may become depressed, and suicidal attempts are not excluded. There is also emotional dependence, neglect of one's needs, various addictions may arise, for example, alcohol or drugs. nine0003

According to studies, in those families where various types of violence (physical, psychological) are used, signs of a delay in the physical and neuropsychic development of children are noticed.

In each specific case of violence, a psychological consultation is required.

It is important to take responsibility for your life, set your own goals, learn to listen to yourself and your feelings, stop negative influences and report what is unpleasant, not tolerate when something causes negative feelings. nine0003

In difficult social, economic and psychological situations, you should contact crisis centers to receive the necessary assistance.

For psychological support, you can contact the helpline, where they will listen, support and determine the type of assistance.

Chapter 4 Violence in Schools and Other Educational Institutions - Our Right to Be Protected from Violence

What types of violence exist in schools?

  • Physical abuse by teachers : Teachers may beat children and teenagers as punishment, for example for badly done assignments.
  • Abuse and humiliation by teachers : Teachers may yell at children or call them names.
  • Physical and psychological abuse by other students : Students may beat or bully a child.
  • School gang violence : In many schools, children and teenagers are part of gangs that are at odds with each other. nine0038
  • Sexual and gender-based violence : Girls may be verbally harassed, abused or even sexually abused at school or on their way out of school. Also, violence often occurs against young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

For more information see the United Nations Study on Violence against Children.

Children in their own words

“My teacher teaches in Oriya, which I do not understand. When he asks me questions, I can't answer because I don't get what he's talking about. Every day he humiliates me for this and beats me with a rag to wipe the board.

Native girl, 9 years old, South Asia.

“I took a folder and wrote down the dates and times of the times I was harassed. I took this folder to the principal of the school. He said: “Son, you have too much free time if you manage to write in these folders. I have more important things to do than deal with what happened two weeks ago.” I told him, "I just wanted you to have an idea of ​​what's going on every day, all the harassment and abuse." He took the folder and threw it in the trash. " nine0003

Boy, North America.

"The teacher offends older girls, locks them in the toilet and tries to rape them, scaring them that if they do not agree, he will lower their grades."

Group of girls, Latin America.

“In our school, bars are hung on the windows, video cameras are hung in the corridors, and the main entrance is equipped with a metal door. I feel like a prisoner and not at all protected. The teachers exaggerate too much." nine0003

11th grade student, Europe and Central Asia

“One day my father couldn't pick up my sister from school and she had to go home alone. On the way, four boys molested her, but she was unable to tell her father about it. She told me about everything, but even I can’t tell my father about what happened. ”

Child, South Asia.

Session 6: Agree - Disagree

What is this lesson for?
  • It involves everyone in the mental, speech and motor processes.
  • It helps the group learn to listen to each other and respect different ideas.
You will need:
  • Free space
  • Three signs that can be hung a few meters apart. One sign with the words "AGREE", another with the words "DO NOT AGREE" and a third with the words "DO NOT SURE"
  • Time: 45 minutes
What to do:
  1. Explain that you will read a statement about violence in schools. Each participant must decide what he thinks about this statement. Agree, disagree or not sure? Participants should stand near the sign reflecting their opinion.
  2. Read the first statement (use the statements in the box or make up statements that work with this group). Give participants time to think about where to place. nine0038
  3. Invite several members of each group to explain their views. The rest have the right to take another place if they hear something that forces them to change their mind.
  4. Read the second statement; repeat point 3.
  5. Read the third statement; repeat point 3.
  6. Ask the following questions to the group:
    • How did you feel about this activity?
    • nine0037 What have you learned during this time?
    • If you changed your point of view, what influenced it?
Next steps:
  • If you were talking to someone who thinks school violence is not a problem, what would you say to get them to change their mind? Act out this situation. See also ideas for role-playing games.
  • Suggest that the group read the UN Study on Child Abuse to learn more about violence in schools, or quote the main points from the introduction to this chapter. Use quotes to discuss different types of school violence. nine0038
  • Seek the opinion of the Commission on Civil Rights regarding school violence.

Use these statements or make up your own.

Physical punishment (slaps, slaps) may be used if they help children learn.

Verbal punishment (scoldling, humiliation) do not offend children as much as physical punishment.

nine0002 Children who are teased need to learn to protect themselves.

Activity 7: Mapping

What is this activity for?
  • It helps teenagers start talking about life situations.
  • Everyone gets the opportunity to take part in drawing.
You will need:
  • Large sheets of paper (one per group)
  • Markers, crayons or pencils
  • Card hanging tape
  • Time: 45-60 minutes
What to do:
  1. Divide participants into groups of four. Invite each group to draw a map of their school, youth center, or other places where they are learning. They may also want to draw the school yard or the streets around the school.
  2. Have them mark on their maps where violence occurs and briefly describe what type of violence they are referring to. nine0002 Group leader comment: some young people may talk about the violence they are experiencing at the moment. See Chapter 1, Part C for information on how to deal with such cases.

  3. Hang the maps on the wall for groups to come and look at. You can group children by gender or age (if the group includes representatives of different ages).
  4. nine0037 Discuss in groups:
    • How are the cards similar? What is the difference?
    • Do boys and girls identify the same or different places and types of violence?
    • Do teenagers of different ages identify the same or different places and types of violence?
  5. Write down the results of the work on a large sheet of paper: indicate the main types of violence, the places where it occurs, and ways to prevent it. nine0038
Next steps:
  • Role-play ways to deal with these types of violence; (ideas for role play)
  • Show the cards to an authority figure (teacher, headmaster, or community leader). Do it in a way that does not put yourself or other teens in danger. Advise on how cards can be used to make a difference, for example, should an adult be in an unsafe place? Can toilets be made safer? nine0038
  • Research your country's laws regarding school violence. Are there such laws? Are they being followed? If not, discuss what action can be taken in this regard.

Activity 8: Learn the truth about bullying.

What is this lesson for?
  • To raise awareness on this issue.
  • To develop ideas for action.
You will need:
  • Questionnaires
  • Pencils
  • Time: undefined.
What to do:
  1. Organizations around the world collect information about child abuse for research on child abuse. Teenagers may also collect information. One way to collect information is through the use of a questionnaire.
  2. Discuss in small groups the problem of school violence on which you can collect information. Before making a decision, ask: nine0036
  3. Do you need to get permission for this activity from someone (principal or youth centre)?
  4. Can you gather this information without endangering yourself?
  5. Can you collect this information without endangering others?
  6. How do you explain to others why you are doing this?
  7. How will you disseminate the findings? nine0038
  8. Have each group present their ideas; vote for one idea that everyone will work on.
  9. Design a questionnaire to collect information. An example of a questionnaire (on the topic of bullying) is provided on the next page. Decide when is the best time to collect information (for example, during your lunch break during the week).
  10. Gather information. It is convenient to work in pairs when one person asks questions and the other writes down the answers. nine0038
  11. Meet with other couples to share what you've learned (eg types of bullying that occur most frequently). Groups of older participants can calculate the percentages and make charts or tables to show the results.
Next steps:
  • Share your information with others—students, parents, community members, youth organizations, or religious leaders. Engage them in working together to develop plans to end the violence. For example, it might be possible to ensure that an adult is present in the school yard if bullying occurs, or to determine how incidents of bullying are reported to school authorities. nine0038

Sample questionnaire on school bullying

Individually ask the person if he/she would like to answer a few questions about bullying. Explain why you are asking these questions and state that you will not reveal his/her name when submitting the results. If he/she agrees, move to a private place, explain what bullying is, and ask each of the following questions one by one. nine0003

Bullying is an act taken by one teenager or a group of teenagers towards another teenager in order to threaten, humiliate or harm that teenager. Bullying can be physical, verbal (using words), or sexual. Bullying can include email, instant messaging, and websites. Isolation (rejection of a person into a group) can also be considered a form of bullying. nine0006

  1. Have you ever been bullied at school?
  2. How often does this happen to you?
    • Less than once a month
    • About once a month
    • About once a week
    • More than once a week
  3. What type of bullying have you experienced?
    • Physical
    • Verbal
    • Insulations
    • Sexy
    • Using the Internet
    • Other (explain).
  4. What do you think would help stop bullying?

Change the situation.

Take action to end violence against children in schools and other educational institutions. nine0095

Young people around the world are taking action to combat violence against children in schools and other educational settings - you can do it too. Below are some resources that may help you. You don't have to use all of these materials, choose the ones that suit your age group and their interests.

  • The “Planning for Action” questions in Chapter 1 will help you prepare your project.
  • The boxed box “Ideas for Action: Child Abuse in Schools and Educational Institutions” below describes ways to get new players involved. See chapter 8 for more ideas.
  • The short stories in the “Acting Around the World” section on the next page highlight what other young people have already done.
  • The short stories are followed by a longer story entitled “Violence against children in schools: taking action in. Salvador". This story can be used by young people who want to take a closer look at the project implementation process.

Give participants enough time to plan activities. This may take longer than other activities in this book. It is better to spend more time planning, for example, several days or weeks. This will allow you to think about potential problems and find ways to solve them. nine0003

Ideas for action: child abuse in schools and educational institutions

  • Form a group of student volunteers to walk home those who have been bullied or to be with them during lunch.
  • Work with the school to develop a way to report incidents of violence, such as using a mailbox.
  • nine0037 Find a representative of a children's organization so that he can talk to teachers and parents about ways to discipline without violence.
  • Suggest that the organization conduct classes with teachers and teenagers about non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
  • Talk to elected officials about the need for laws to stop physical punishment in schools.
  • Organize a school or community debate on the issue of physical punishment. nine0038
  • Work with a child welfare organization to establish a hotline where students can report abuse and get help with the problem.
  • Ask teachers if they can talk about researching violence and violence against children in civics and law lessons, for example.

Taking action around the world: child abuse in schools and educational institutions

Below are some examples of anti-violence measures taken by children in schools and educational institutions around the world.

  • El Salvador: In San Salvador, youth gangs were involved in street fights, rapes, murders and bombings on school grounds. Scouts of El Salvador conducted a study to identify the reasons that lead young people to join gangs; one of these reasons was the need for self-determination and self-affirmation. They set up a camp for two schools with opposing gangs. In the camp, the students of the two schools got to know each other. They worked in small groups doing activities that allowed them to be creative, find non-confrontational ways to communicate, get to know each other, and learn to respect their inherent differences. After their stay at the camp, the gang members began to organize social events and carry out community service projects involving both schools. Since the beginning of the camps, the number of students who resort to violence has decreased by 80%. (More >>). nine0038
  • India: In meetings with international and local organizations, children in the Indian state of Orissa identified physical and humiliating punishment as the most common form of child abuse. They made adults aware of this through theater plays, letters, and seminars. They also created a film that was presented to members of the community. In August 2004, the Chief Minister of Orissa issued an executive order banning corporal punishment in the state's schools. nine0038
  • Peru: School boards in Peru give children a say in many issues related to children's rights. They are working to stop the use of physical and psychological punishment, as well as other types of violence against children. School boards hold seminars for parents on the issue of children's rights, including the issue of physical punishment. When cases of violence against children are identified, they are reported to the Municipal Department for Children's Rights. nine0038
  • Uganda: The African Organization for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and Child Protection in Uganda works to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Within the framework of the organization, children-led support groups operate on the observance of the rights of both schoolchildren and out-of-school children. As a result of their activities, there is an increase in the number of reports of cases of child abuse and better contacts with adult activists, including members of local councils. nine0038

If you know of cases where young people in your country have taken action to combat violence against children in schools and educational institutions, please share this information with the group.

Violence against children in schools: taking action in El Salvador.

In 2001, in San Salvador and its surrounding cities in the Republic of El Salvador, youth gang activity led to an increase in street fights, rapes and murders. The public was literally shocked when bombs began to explode on the playgrounds of schools. School leaders tried to punish the perpetrators, but their actions were unsuccessful. nine0003

Young members of the Scout Association in El Salvador conducted a study to find out the reasons why young people join gangs. What are they looking for? Scouts were asked why they joined the scouting movement. The answers turned out to be very similar, in particular, among the reasons they named the need for self-determination and self-affirmation. It was decided that the scouting organization could help teenagers who become gang members.

They invited schoolchildren between the ages of 15 and 20, who attended two schools with opposing gangs, to the summer camp. Teenagers were given the opportunity to leave home, have fun, experience a real adventure for free. Most of them had never left the city before. nine0003

At the camp, students from two schools got to know each other. They worked in small groups called "solidarity brigades", which included young men trained to work with gang members. "Solidarity Brigades" organized various events that helped the children to show their creative abilities, find non-conflict ways of communication, as well as get to know each other and learn to respect the differences between them.

At first, many gang members were suspicious. However, their opinion began to change when those who had been in the first camp returned to school.

Learn more