At the 2015 IPA Congress in Boston, members of a number of IPA committees who work with children and adolescents participated in an Inter-Committee Meeting on Child Abuse. The Inter-Committee Project on Child Abuse will continue this work and make IPA members and people outside of IPA more aware of the need for education, advocacy, prevention and intervention regarding child abuse. It is a collaborative project involving six IPA committees: COCAP, COWAP, the Psychoanalysis and Law Committee, the WHO Committee, the UN Committee, and the Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Families and Couples Committee.
- The recognition of child abuse and the transmission of intergenerational trauma is a vital effort, which requires the active therapeutic involvement of child and adolescent psychoanalysts. Any psychoanalytic approach to child abuse springs from our in-depth knowledge of, and experience with, trauma. Also, in psychoanalytic treatment of adults, past experience of abuse as a child should be recognized as highly traumatic and as possibly causing lifelong psychic suffering.
- The treatment of abused children is a crucial issue, which needs to be addressed at an international level. Children should be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation, and should not be subjected to human trafficking, in any shape or form. The Inter-Committee Project aims to expand the understanding and treatment of the above and any other forms of attack against children. Since attitudes towards childhood are highly indicative of every society's mental health and stability, we see our contribution as highly crucial, encompassing individual, social and cultural significance.
- The Inter-Committee Project aims to organize child-analytic communities in initiating a position statement regarding child abuse and to cast this initiative as a vital part of our tasks as child psychoanalysts. The IPA should support an increased visibility of our roles, so as to protect the needs and rights of children and adolescents. This will be accomplished through setting up conferences on child abuse, generating international research projects, initiating educational plans (as well as seminars and workshops) for qualified workers in the field, and, most importantly, through the regular posting of collected information on the IPA website.
Ways of working and reporting
The Inter-Committee Project on Child Abuse will be expected to do most of its work electronically, using Skype, GoToMeeting, or other free-to-use communication systems. The Project, like all IPA committees, will be expected to be self-supporting for secretarial and other purposes. Any face-to-face meetings should take place, so far as possible, adjacent to IPA or regional congresses. The Chair of the Inter-Committee Project will provide a written report to the Board at least annually.
This is an inter-committee project, whose membership will be drawn from already existing IPA committees. (The members of those committees will be appointed in the usual way, by the President of the IPA and with the consent of the Board of Representatives.)
Composition of the Inter-Committee Project
The Inter-Committee Project on Child Abuse will consist of one representative from each of COCAP, COWAP, the Psychoanalysis and Law Committee, the WHO Committee, the UN Committee, and the Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Families and Couples Committee, plus one IPSO Representative. One of these representatives will be designated as Chair. Efforts should be made to ensure each IPA region be represented within the Inter-Committee Project.
The Inter-Committee Project on Child Abuse has been formed by the IPA Board of Representatives on the understanding that there will be no separate budget for the Project: any potential funds required should come from the budgets of the six committees involved with the project. The Inter-Committee Project will have access to the web and email support services offered by Broomhills.
Board approved April 2016