Creative due to poverty: who and why binds sick children in Russian boarding schools

Creative due to poverty: who and why binds sick children in Russian boarding schools
Creative due to poverty: who and why binds sick children in Russian boarding schools
11 November, 11:20SocietyPhoto: Соцсети
The catastrophic shortage of staff in both children's and adult Russian boarding schools forces employees to use sadistic methods on patients.

Ivan Zubov

Some time ago, many media and social networks published terrible photos of mentally retarded children from the Buturlinovsky orphanage in the Voronezh region. All of them were tied: some to a bench, some to the bed, some were simply swaddled so that they could not move. These pictures caused a huge public outcry and attracted the attention of the Russian authorities. True, instead of helping poor children, the state took up a more familiar business - self-justification.

So, the head of the department of social protection of the Voronezh region, Olga Sergeyeva, declared the unreliability of these photographs, and the investigators, after many checks, did not find any violations of the law at all, not finding any signs of binding on the bodies of children. And even if someone was tied up, they explained, this practice is quite often used in such boarding schools for the shortest time. The appearance of these photographs was considered revenge on the management of the boarding school by one of the dismissed employees.

They learned to bind creatively, so that no traces remain

Meanwhile, experts questioned the validity of such conclusions. Thus, clinical psychologist Maria Ostrovskaya told Voronezh journalists that this practice is used everywhere in Russian boarding schools: “Both children and adults are often tied up. In the most varied ways. They tie a stroller to a radiator so that a person cannot move, they tie it to a bed... Sometimes in completely exotic ways. I would say creative.

Ostrovskaya also stated that the point here is not at all the brutal inclinations of the staff, but its catastrophic shortage: “On the one hand, they are responsible for everything and have no right to restrict children, on the other hand, they are completely unable to follow them. It is even impossible to imagine that they could cope with this task. And because, for example, one nanny works there for 15 people. The personnel is put in conditions when there is a whole school of violation of the law. And the trouble is not that someone wanted to take revenge on someone and posted photos, but that everything is systematically arranged in such a way that, in essence, there is another way to protect yourself from responsibility for the fact that someone or hurt another, no…”

What's more, the investigators couldn't find any traces of bondage, the psychologist said, because there weren't any:

“Employees of boarding schools do not tie them up with ropes! Probably, only completely inept beginners fix it in such a way that there will be traces. These are smart people, they teach each other. Usually they use tights or diapers - some kind of soft materials. And there are no traces left ... "

In civilized countries, the decision to bind the patient is taken only by the court

Yes, it is very difficult to work with such children, but it is possible and necessary, as foreign, and mainly Western experience proves. First of all, they need to create a safe environment.

Here is what bloggers who deal with such children write:

“What do you do with your unreasonable baby who puts everything in his mouth or can fall down the stairs? You remove the danger, you watch him, you teach him day by day how to go down the stairs correctly. The child should not be in bed 24/7. It's not great and very tiring. Like any healthy child, a sick child must be occupied in order to release energy somewhere. Children need to play, they need to read, sing songs, go for walks and go to the zoo. This is exactly what is happening, for example, in Germany.

Children participate in life, crawl on the floor, in case of serious deviations, the doctor can prescribe medications, if there is a danger to the patient or others, then fixation (methods and reasons are clearly specified) is resolved through the court. The judge personally comes and looks at the patient, talks to him and decides each individual case.

In Russia, however, such institutions are funded on a residual basis. There are no funds and, accordingly, a shortage of staff. Well, why is everything so, I hope it is clear without explanation ... "

Scary, but these photos are not even shocking

Public figure Nyuta Federmesser confirms in a commentary that this problem, contrary to the findings of investigators, not only exists, it is very acute in Russia:

“In recent years, I have visited dozens of Russian boarding schools - adults and children. And I have not met boarding schools where physical restraints are NOT used: they are not tied, they are not locked in rooms, they are not left as punishment in closed departments without the right to go outside. I practically never met such institutions (a couple of exceptions do not count for hundreds of boarding schools).

It's scary to realize that these photos no longer shock me. The Region of Care team recorded hundreds of such bindings. The photos that we took - below, are real evidence of what is happening in the institutions of "social protection of the population." Don't let yourself say, "Oh no, that's scary, I won't watch it." It's really scary, yes, but it happens and exists next to us for our taxes, in every city, in every region where there is a boarding school. And to say that we are not to blame for this and this has nothing to do with us is impossible ... "

Humanity cannot be taught in adulthood

And social networks are still indignant:

- In these photos, not only binding. Here you can see with the naked eye that people are emaciated and their weight is below the norm, that the prevention of bedsores and contractures is not carried out adequately. From a professional point of view, this is a nightmare and a disgrace. There is only one problem: this nightmare and shame is not the negligence of one sister or an entire institution, this is the position of the state. And it's scary. This means that many more generations of care workers will subconsciously consider all this to be the norm, and not a reason to contact the prosecutor's office.

- Unfortunately, humanity cannot be taught in adulthood... You have to be born into this. If from childhood the child is respected, listened to and taken seriously to his opinion. If a society lives around this child that takes care of the weak, the elderly, the disabled, and animals. If there are laws and they are implemented. If a person is not afraid to express his opinion. If a person has the right to choose, the right to be himself... In such a society, people are more humane.

- Traditional Russian values - yesterday a presidential decree was issued: patriotism, service to the Fatherland, Orthodoxy ... All this is an empty phrase, until a person's life is the most important and main value. Everything else is fictional. Has there ever been a period in the history of our country where life was a value?

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