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Bullying, degrading treatment and violence in educational institutions of Armenia

Day of Silence

Day of SilenceOn April 19, on the occasion of “Day of Silence” “Public Information and Need of Knowledge” NGO held a press conference on bullying, degrading treatment and violence in RA educational institutions.

The project coordinator of the organization, social worker Nvard Margaryan mentioned: “In various countries of the world, starting from 1996, the third Friday of April is celebrated as The Day of Silence.
The main purpose of The Day of Silence is to focus public attention on discrimination and degrading treatment against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people and other social groups throughout educational institutions. Moreover, this day is meant to eliminate and prevent such phenomena in an effort to establish safer educational institutions for everyone, regardless of students’ sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnic origins, religion, appearance, social and other personal characteristics”.

Then she presented cases, personal stories, which were collected during daily work time by the organization’s staff.

In the opinion of psychologist-therapist Narine Hovakimyan: “there is a stereotype that only people, who have significant differences compared to general society can be subjected to bullying and become victims of violence. But anyone can be bullied; no one is safe from becoming a victim of provocations”.

The psychologist of “Women’s Resource Center” Elvira Meliksetyan added on how to overcome degrading treatment. “First of all we must remember that everyone has the right to be respected in milieu, a right of fair treatment, a right to feel safe. A child can ask for help from a trusted adult, it is necessary to make children understand, that it is not a shame to ask for help, to try to make things clear about the “problem” with aggressor. Sometimes indifference is the most powerful weapon”.

In the end speakers added, that on April 19 they will keep silence for those, who don’t have the opportunity to speak up about the manifestations of discrimination against them.