Mood Of The Month is a monthly editorial campaign at Feminism In India. For this campaign, a particular theme is chosen, on which articles are invited from the writers community and the general audience. Weekly social media posts on some selected pieces are created to bring more engagement on violence and trauma from childhood.
Childhood—a seemingly universal experience might not be as pervasive or similar as it is usually perceived. Yes, we all learn languages, go to schools, build friendships, play and study and eventually grow up an adult—at least in the sense of what society considers to be an ‘adult’. But these supposedly mainstream experiences, when explored in detail, bring to surface a wide range of differences in our individual journeys from childhood to adulthood.
And as most spheres in life, violence and trauma become integral fragments of our childhood encounters with the world around us. They shape our personalities and determine our behavioural tendencies throughout our lives. As children, we might not be completely aware of the various kinds of violence we inflict or are inflicted with. But with time and knowledge about our society and our selves, we realise these patterns of conduct that potentially or actually may have harmed us and the people around us.
Although as children we are made to believe that our schools and homes are safe spaces and the adults around us are our mentors who will protect and guide us through these forming years of our lives, often these spaces and their administrators fail to live up to their responsibilities. They might lack the understanding of the emotional dispositions of the children they supervise. Sometimes, they might themselves put children in vulnerable situations or even worse, they could also inflict violence by their own volition. Punishment, bullying, manipulation, gaslighting, sexual harassment and in general, a sense of hostility can lead to everlasting trauma and mental health issues in a child.
Furthermore, beyond the effects adults have on the lives of children; peers, classmates and friends too might have distressing influence whereby various power relationships in the society may seep into these juvenile and allegedly ‘innocent’ acquaintanceships. Institutions too have a similar effect whereby families, religion, schools, hostels etc., create certain standards and expectations of acceptable versus unacceptable behaviour, actions and conduct, and anyone who fails to match up to those standards are penalised.
For February 2021, FII and The Minor Project are looking for article submissions on the topic of Narrating Violence and Trauma from Childhood, to highlight the ways we in our childhoods experience various forms of brutality from our adults, mentors, peers and even their institutions that has led to a sustained memory of difficult experiences and mental health issues. The Minor Project is a digital platform for public dialogue to promote discourse on ending violence, abuse and exploitation of children by Leher, a child rights organization, whose focus is on building communities that care and act for the safety and protection of children.
Here are some possible pointers which might help you write your articles,
- Corporeal Punishment in Home and School
- Bullying and Cyberbullying
- Domestic Abuse/Witnessing Domestic Violence
- Body Image Issues
- Peer Groups and friendships
- Mental Health Issues from Childhood (PTSD, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety)
- Emotional Abuse/Neglect/Maltreatment (by virtue of merit, gender, body image etc.)
- Parental Alcohol Abuse/Anger Issues
- Sibling abuse
You can send us your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. This list is not exhaustive. Please feel free to write about other topics, which we might have missed listing.
We understand that some of you might be uncomfortable writing about your personal experiences. You can let us know in your submission mail whether you would want to remain Anonymous when we publish your articles.
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