The Need in Latvia, Continued

Political and cultural factors create special hardships for abused and neglected children. The situation is especially dire for abused women. Historical influence and society’s denial of child and domestic abuse hinders attempts to address the source and to treat victims. Latvian society does not fully understand the severity of the problem; portions of the population seem to accept spousal abuse as a normal condition.

The lack of enforcement of laws by the police and judicial system may create even greater challenges for victims of abuse. The situation in which a husband pummels his wife and then in the presence of the police, successfully coerces her not to press charges - - is not infrequent. Pity the poor woman who actually files a complaint only to face the wrath of her husband after the police releases him. It is chilling to think of the amount of suffering endured by children and their mothers behind the closed doors of private homes

The lack of financial resources presents a major obstacle to improving the lives of Latvia’s children. The Kids First Fund can play a significant role in improving the lives of abused children through its grant making activities. The greatest opportunity for change always comes from within; the Latvian people and its government represent the greatest potential force to protect children from abuse. In this regard, the Kids First Fund represents a catalyst to help Latvia create a more civil and justice-based society.

More information is available on child abuse in Latvia by reading the “Report on Systems to Protect Children from Abuse in Latvia” under the Reports and Studies section of the News pages.