Cultural Variations in Childhood Victimisation: A Preliminary Study of the Experiences of British and Greek College Students

Sevaste Chatzifotiou, Technological Educational Inst. of Crete
Manos Daskalou, University College Northampton

ABSTRACT
There is a growing interest in violence against children but there is a gap in the literature regarding comparative studies looking at the cultural variations of how this violence is perceived as well as what constitutes violence per se. Violence is usually accepted as universally similar among different cultures without questioning the extent of cultural variations in the prioritisation of acts of violence, the general attitude to violence, and the ways that violence is being portrayed. However in an age of globalisation where there is ever increasing demand of co-operation betweeen national organisations to target cime and victimisation the overall picture must be understood.

The aims and objectives of this study are to investigate childhood victimisation in the domestic context, as this constitutes a subsequent result of their parents' violence between each other, or a result of parents' violent behaviour towards children (e.g. smacking, etc.) aiming at children's discipline using acceptable ways of growing up. Being academics both of the authors, we were astonished to realise the high percentage of students in our departments, particularly those attending the courses on criminology and domestic violence that we respectively teach, who were revealing us painful experiences of victimisation during their childhood as those were taking place both at home and at school context. This realisation together with the subsequent discusions that we had as a result of our concern, made us come to the conclusion that we wanted to research the probelem properly.

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Updated 05/20/2006