“Torturer”

Bardejov, Słovakia (Photo: Gosia Sachse, 18.08.2017 r.)

Bardejov is a historic small Slovak town, whose square is inscribed on the UNESCO list. It is considered the most beautiful town in Slovakia with rich culture and magnificent architecture. Bardejov is also known as the Hangman’s Town, because, according to legend, there was once an executioner’s school here. Today in the old town we can see a statue of the Hangman, who guards the town and dispenses justice.

They say that the prince who ruled in medieval Bardejov issued a special decree that all dishonesty and thievery would be punished by death. The executioner in Bardejov was a well-known and respected person. It was believed that his authority came from God, in church he sat in a special bench near the altar.

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Nowadays, the word “executioner” has a singular pejorative meaning. For victims of domestic violence in particular, the mere evocation of the image of their executioner in their minds causes various anxiety feelings. In this context the billboard slogan “Love each other mom and dad”, promoted by SYCHAR, which has flooded Polish cities in recent days, sounds like a slap in the face of the victims of domestic violence. The emotional manipulation that has been perpetrated in this billboard action is striking. For years, child psychologists have been making a clear diagnosis: for the proper development of a child, love and a sense of security are essential. These two things cannot be provided by a person who uses violence. It doesn’t matter, if it is a physical, psychological, financial, emotional or any other art of violence. Let us protect ourselves and our youngest children and run away from violent people as far as we can.

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