All of us, if not, most of us consider childhood as the best part of our life. It is a time during which many of our nostalgic moments happen. Most of us smile when we see our childhood pictures. We roll back to those days. We all say ‘I wish I could get my childhood back’. It was a free time. We could anything mischievous. No one would say anything because we were ‘just kids’.
Childhood is also a period of problems. Many children face problems and are even afraid to talk about it to their parents or loved ones. And we, those who consider ourselves brave, smart and mature cannot see their problems. Just because they are children does not mean that their problems are small like them. Some of their problems are bigger than ours and need more concern.
Before, there were children-related social evils like child labour, child marriage, beggary, etc. Even though all of these still exist, new laws and other actions were able to reduce them. But, that did not put an end to the problems of children. Children are exploited by a new social evil – CHILD ABUSE. I don’t know if ‘social evil’ is the right word to describe it, but child abuse is definitely an evil that needs to be stopped.
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. It’s a widespread war against our children that we have the power to stop, and understanding the issue is the first step.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child or children.
Child abuse can be classified into mainly four types: Physical, Sexual, Psychological and Neglect.
Physical abuse involves physical aggression directed at a child by an adult. Most nations with child-abuse laws consider the deliberate infliction of serious injuries, or actions that place the child at obvious risk of serious injury or death, to be illegal. Bruises, scratches, burns, broken bones, lacerations, as well as repeated “mishaps,” and rough treatment that could cause physical injury, can be physical abuse.
Child sexual abuse (CSA), is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation. Sexual abuse refers to the participation of a child in a sexual act aimed toward the physical gratification or the financial profit of the person committing the act.
A repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incident(s) that convey to children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another’s needs.
Child neglect is the failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm. Neglect is also a lack of attention from the people surrounding a child, and the non-provision of the relevant and adequate necessities for the child’s survival, which would be a lacking in attention, love, and nurture.
Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). This is only about the reported cases, there maybe many more which went unreported. And US is one of the most developed countries and look how they are suffering from this evil.
Out of the four types of child abuse, Neglect is the most common. It is also the most avoidable because this mainly happens in the family itself. No outsiders are involved in it. The parents and the family are responsible for this. If you don’t know whether your child is subject to any other three types of child abuse, then your child is a subject to Neglect. Why? If you showed your care, love and concern for your child, he/she would have already told you that they are subject to abuse.
And don’t think that only strangers commit child abuse. Anyone in the family could also commit abuse to a child.
Many of us think that child abuse is a rarity, but that’s not true. Statistics say that a child abuse is reported every ten seconds (I don’t know if that’s the case in US or the whole world, but still that is a stat that we don’t want to hear). I took more than thirty minutes to write this article, so that means 180 child abuse cases have been reported by the time I wrote this article. Still think Child Abuse is a rarity? It’s happening everywhere. It’s just that we don’t see it, rather, we are blind towards it. We have to open our eyes and ensure the security of our children.
I am concluding the article here. Child Abuse is a broad topic and a single article won’t be enough to tell all about it, but I thought I should do what I can. A small awareness article about Child Abuse.
*Sources:- Wikipedia; and Child Abuse Statistics published on childhelp.org