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Hurtful Words Are Turned into 'Weapons' by Center for Psychological Research

Sovanna Pouv

In China, verbal abuse towards children can have harrowing and disturbing effects on delinquency and crime among those kids. To combat this, the Center for Psychological Research, Shenyang, has collaborated with Ogilvy Beijing to tell the stories of six juvenile delinquents in the Shenyang Detention Center, who were called scarring names by parents and guardians and are now in detention for crimes like murder and assault.

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  • Ayako Ezaki

    I think that in the cases featured in this video, the words that were turned into 'weapons' in the art project actually represented the way the parents treated their kids in general, and that there were other emotional, psychological, personal factors at play (maybe the parents themselves were abused, maybe they couldn't cope with the stress of certain circumstances, etc.). And these are probably not the norm.

    But one important message was that we may be using hurtful words without thinking much, and maybe those words are planting seeds of negative emotions without anyone realizing it. It's very moving to see short interviews with parents at the end of the video, and I hope that many people see the message that "words can be weapons" in the same way - that it's not just about those who are abusive, it's not just a problem for those with serious emotional issues.

    This also made me think about this TED-ED video (, which I highly recommend, because hurtful words leave scars not just on those who receive them, but also those who say them.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      This is a great video. I like the reminder to never say things that couldn't stand to be the last things we say. As you said, words can plant seeds of negative emotions without anyone realizing it. They can sit in the subconscious and effect the way we react to other people.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    While I do believe that consistent psychological abuse can be damaging to one's development, I don't think it results in crime all the time. However, this interactive art campaign is incredibly effective and innovative in starting a conversation about mental health. If anything, it does show, words can be weapons and it is important to use them wisely.