Ciencias de la Educación

26 de octubre de 2019

Intra-Family Abuse Case: Child and Adolescent of Cundinamarca School IED (2017 – 2018)

Martha Cecilia Guzmán Cueto

Research team: Teacher: Guzmán M./ Students: Estacio C., Prieto JC.,  Juan Olarte A.


Addressing Child Intra-Family Mistreatment presents several problems: the true proportion of this problem is unknown; the range of opinions regarding its definition and classification, the varied statements about its risks and repercussions based on the acts of the observed infants and their therapeutic management. To know more about the problems stated, an analytical investigation was carried out in children and teenagers that have suffered any of the categories of Child Interfamily Mistreatment, committed in family unusual dynamics of affection and/or with problems of communication or unresolved conflicts. This random sampling was taken at the “Colegio Cundinamarca I.E.D.” in Bogotá D.C., from 2017 until 2018, to identify those factors related to the occurrence and development of interfamily violence in ages between 7 and 13 years. Likewise, the use of qualitative techniques led to similarities (odds cases) and the definition of the hypothesis. The most frequent modalities of child abuse were psychological and physical violence, especially in infants with factors such as school deficiency and hyperactivity, negligence, divorce, in which the mother was the person mistreating her children.

Key Concepts: child maltreatment; domestic violence; aggression


Intra-family abuse in everyday life, is a psychological and physical ill-treatment that affects different family members directly and indirectly, for the case addressed, children and/or adolescents. There is no concise idea of what it is, or to what extent, abuse can turn into maltreatment in spite of being a long-standing social phenomenon; therefore, it should be added that Interfamily Child Abuse does not always occur in the parent-to-child direction; in turn, it sometimes comes from someone else who is close to the child, or a member of his family nucleus (brothers, grandparents, among others).

This behavior is related to actions that turn into illness, basically it basically deals with hitting, insults and invasion of the personal area; in some cases, it is an act that leads the victim to feel constantly threatened and sometimes, keeping it secret by repressing what happens. It is a painful deal of “Silence”, in which the victim keeps his/her performance out of the social and public setting so as not to generate “scandals”.

It should be emphasized that Child Abuse has been regarded as a global public health problem, not only because of denigrating and inhumane, but also because it is accompanied by high mortality rates and intense impact on the quality of victims’ lives. Therefore, according to WHO (World Health Organization), the abuse of children and adolescents can be grouped into 3 categories:

  1. Physical and psychological abuse.
  2. Physical and emotional negligence.
  3. Labor and comprehensive exploitation.

However, it is clear that, although there is a growing interest from the authorities and a huge concern, it still remains invisible, and very few results are evinced due to the persisting immature and repressed society that leads to self-destructive behaviors (emotionally, ethically and morally deflected). Thence, it is key to recognize and determine the risks and consequences that child violence has generated in some students of Cundinamarca School, by conducting a study to characterize which of the indicators show the infants being mistreated within their families. Additionally, to identify the aid provided by the institution to these infants, and hypothesize with the results of the study that validate it in detail and more accurately, the harmful effects of abuse that are just perceived or heard by those who perpetrate and receive them.


Analytic research was carried out from 2017 to 2018, with the students of the Cundinamarca I.E.D. School in Bogotá D.C., characterized by any of the different categories of Intra-family Child Abuse. The sample was defined among infants aged 7 to 13, with a choice of character at random, previous definition to students characterized with factors of violence.

The information was gathered through the structured interview, complemented with the observation, the questionnaire of diagnostic indicators, the test of perception of family functioning, the detail of the family circle and the composition as indirect technique.

Given its extension in the collection of information, it was necessary to plan the schedule and activities in four different groups, all depending on the activity to be performed and the branch to inquire the problem of research subject to the objectives. These were the activities performed:

  1. Group 1: Survey of infants between 7 and 13 years of age, based on their knowledge of the subject and their home environment.
  2. Group 2: Observation during recess, to detect attitudes in the behavior of infants indicating aggression.
  3. Group 3: Observation in recreational and cognitive activities.
  4. Group 4: School psychologist interview, in order to learn more about the protocols that follow with everything related to the children who have been treated in the institution in these cases; for this study, it was met with the support of psychologists of the institution. ii

Consequently, the qualitative focus group technique was applied as a proper   method to obtain relevant and concrete information, attitudes, and practices on a given subject in a population concerned. Besides, a cycle of counselling was established with school psychologists on protocols to be followed and the support they provide to children with these cases of violence, as a matter of our research; this was very useful in determining the ranks of abuse presented in the institution, as well as observations on playful activities to unify criteria.



In this series, in verifying and analyzing our results, we identified how 95% of infants recognize abuse verbatim as natural but painful in their families. Hence, a certain degree of physical, psychological and emotional violence was recognized.

By the way, information was collected from the various activities and drawings performed by infants, and from some surveys about risk factors (table 1), conducted with students within the school. Information was also obtained about some skills parents have at home and the consequences these behaviors have had on their children.


Table 1: Intra-family abuse towards/with the child and adolescents of Cundinamarca school (2017 – 2018) Information collection instruments.
Activity Results
Surveys Respondents replied assertively, without hesitation, the questions related to their environments.
Observations Aggressiveness and emotions of infants vary depending on the dialogue with those around them.


Interviews -It was found verbatim how some of the students live this situation in their home.


-A specific health protocol is followed which, although not very effective is useful.

Research team: Teacher: Guzmán M./ Students: Estacio C.1 Prieto JC.2 Juan Olarte A.3


In the interview with the student psychologist, sufficient, necessary and relevant information on public health surveillance protocols was collected and recorded to be followed in situations such as the ones below.


Table 2: Comprehensive Care and Public Health Protocols for the Cohabitation and Exercise of DDs. HH, Sexual and Reproductive
Protocol                                  Action                                              Compromise
2 to 3 cases per month. It adheres to the 1098 “Code of Children and Adolescents” act. Identifying Categories and Degree of Abuse.
Quote parents and report or guidance. Inform the SED. Parental commitment


Report to SIVIM. Contact police. Report to ICBF


Parental training, family commissioner. From school: Strengthen the family nucleus (parent school with parenting guidelines, authority management, etc.).



Results Analysis

Some of the infants surveyed, 5%, claim to have never suffered abuse, but the vast majority (60%) preferred not to externalize, or talk about the subject, nor the feelings caused by abuse. The majority of the population surveyed (100%) perceives these cases as a very bad fact (morally and socially); some went beyond and asserted that it was a sick act.

Likewise, 30% do not consider that society influences an abuser, but they mostly consider that it depends on how the parenting was, or its behavior at home because in some cases it showed that 50% was caused by alcoholism, 30% by stress, 10% economic stability, 2% divorces, 5% family conflicts, among others.

As we analyze the children’s graphic representations of their homes, we observe that when children draw, they express their feelings through paper, pencil, and colors, but some of them clearly reveal their reality in terms of violence and mistreatment through their drawings.

In some cases, it was possible to show the behavior of the parents in front of the children. In most cases, they concealed it by illustrating a happy family, but in their distraction, some of them conveyed the opposite of what was drawn; others revealed the problems faced at home, where the father denoted being the most aggressive, insulting them and threatening to hit them and intimidating them. One of them expressed – a girl crying while her father threatened to beat her and she implored him not to do it. Finally, another student showed the maternal figure screaming at the girl as she cried.

On the other hand, the vast majority of children illustrated the inferiority in which they feel (indirectly) in their own family, due to their parents’ constant attack on them or in the most severe case, an illustration presented by a 7-year-old girl, constant physical and emotional neglect on the mother’s behavior. Another illustration showed the separation of the parents, both being away from her while she felt sad.

In the other method of data collection, an important collaboration was obtained from the student psychologist of the institution, who provided significant information on how the school acts (protocols to follow) to face and manage these problems dealing with violence and how it develops in the physical-emotional sphere of infants who do not want to give in to the aids provided, and the great demand, as family support for these cases, that are available in the school because of problems like these.

In sum, the results yielded the main characteristics of everyday life, attitudes, skills, interactions, emotions, thoughts, among other things, of those children and adolescents who face maltreatment in their homes day by day.



It contextualized a clearer idea about child abuse, characterized by having a problem as common as violence, as the basis where I-adult can be superior to you and you must obey me, I will do what I want no matter how you feel when they find their own couples, making that situation a risk factor, as well as being a self-harm to the weakest members of the family. Under the above premise it was possible to reach several consignments of classic backgrounds in doubt and unprecedented but corroborated in this research, around Intra-Family Child Abuse. Each activity conducted allowed us to understand the causes of abuse and how it affects the child and the community itself, as it is a global problem that comes to have serious consequences on the attitudes of infants who suffer from it, while expanding it to society in a negative way.

It was clearly interpreted that these cases are still unstopped, and increase no matter how much the school tries to help to stop them. This is a macro problem of an aggressive social history.

95% of the students approached clearly and painfully identify the different behaviors of physical aggression to which they are exposed within their homes; they perceive the relationships of power, domination, abandonment and humiliation to those who are subdued in their families.

Many of the child victims of abuse reproduce behavior in their daily relationship with their peers, manifested in physical aggression mainly.

The data indicate that 60% of students who are victims of abuse are keeping their aggression, prefer not to talk about it, and although they find it very bad, they are passive recipients of such violence. This infers the strong power of domination of parents or offenders over the child.


Final Questions:

How can the school contribute to reversing the advancement of a violent and abusive society?

What should be the role of the family ministry in reducing the progressive deterioration of the family figure as a protective unit?

*Social worker from Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia; bachelor of art degree in social sciences from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Medellín, Colombia; M.A. in interdisciplinary social research, Universidad Distrital José Francisco de Caldas; Ph.D. (c), Universidad Arturo Prat of the State of Chile; teacher of basic and middle education at the Cundinamarca I.E.D. school; general editor from



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