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Child Abuse

April month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

So, here I am with my new post on this sensitive issue.

Hope you find it useful.😊

What comes in your mind when you hear the word ‘Child abuse’?
A child being hurt physically, right!

But child abuse is not just this.

It could be neglecting your child or his needs, not trusting him, making them feel worthless, bullying, not giving him the love, help and support he deserves and much more.

And the results are serious!

They lead to deep, long-lasting scars on the mind of the child and sometimes even death.

The harm caused to the innocent minds, brain and heart are much bigger than the signs of the bruise on the body.

But on-time support and guidance can help them overcome this. Just you need to be aware.

Let’s dive into more deeply to learn about Child Abuse.

Child abuse or maltreatment is physical, sexual or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver.

(as per Wikipedia)

Types of Child abuse

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Neglect

Physical abuse – This involves causing harm or injury to a child deliberately by other person like – hitting, punching, burning, choking a child or causing harm to any part of his body.

Emotional abuse – This involves harm to a child emotionally or mentally like – shouting, criticizing, bullying, threatening, making him feel guilty or embarrassed, belittling, pressurising to act or say against their will and verbally abusing.

Sexual abuse – This involves touching a child inappropriately, forcing him to take part in sexual activity, exposing to pornography.

Neglecting – This involves ignoring a child or his needs like – food, hygiene, education, safety or denying love.

It’s difficult for the victim child to talk or share to his family about the abuse or harm done or being done to him.
Reasons, sometimes they are not enough older to understand what is happening with them. They can’t differentiate between right and wrong.

Sometimes they are scared about the consequences because the abuser might threaten them to not to share or talk about it with anyone.

Maybe they feel they can’t trust their parents. They feel that no one would believe to them.

Even they could feel embarrassed to reveal about what they are going through and sometimes they may feel that they are responsible for what is happening with them.

Effects of Child abuse

  • Leads to sadness, anxiety and depression
  • Fear of trusting people
  • Unable to maintain a relationship with family and friends
  • Loss of confidence
  • Anger
  • Behaving violently
  • Trouble in learning new things
  • Suicidal thoughts

Overall, it affects the mental and physical growth of the victim child.

In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) released a study report on child abuse. The report discusses incidence of child abuse nationwide. The study of the MWCD found a wide spread incidence of child abuse. Children between the ages of 5-12 are at the highest risk for abuse and exploitation. The study found that 69% of children reported to have been physically abused. Out of these 54.68% were boys. 52.91% of boys and 47.09 % of girls reported having been abused in their family environment. Of the children who were abused in family situations 88.6% were abused by their parents. Every two out of three school children reported facing corporal punishment. In juvenile justice institutions 70.21 % of children in conflict with law and 52.86% of children in need of care and protection reported having been physically abused. With regard to child labour 50.2% of children work all seven days of the week. 81.16% of the girl child labourers work in domestic households, while 84% of the boy child labourers worked in tea stalls or kiosks. 65.99 % of boys and 67.92% of girls living on the street reported being physically abused by their family members and other people.

Lastly the study examined emotional abuse and girl child neglect. The study examined two forms of emotional abuse: humiliation and comparison. Half the children reported facing emotional abuse with 83% of that abuse begin conducted by parents. Girl child neglect was assessed girls comparing themselves to their brothers on factors like attention, food, recreation time, household work, taking care of siblings, etc. 70.57% of girls reported having been neglected by family members. 48.4% of girls wished they were boys. 27.33% of girls reported getting less food then their brothers. Of the young adults (ages 18-24) interviewed, almost half of them reported having been physically or sexually abused as children.

Now many times it would have happened that you came across a child being abused. In your family, in your neighbourhood, in a school, on the street, in the park, anywhere.

How you can help and support the abused.

  • Talk to the victim child. Be friendly with him and provide emotional support. Take him in your trust and guide.
  • Let him know that it’s not his mistake. He should not be ashamed or feel guilty about what had happened.
  • Try to divert his mind. Make him involve in some creative work or hobby.
  • Take help from other family members, friends and siblings. They all should together help him come out of his past.
  • Do not interrogate repeatedly. Be calm. Let him speak on his own. Otherwise, it can create panic and confusions for him.
  • Avoid memorizing him the bed events or incidents he has gone through.
  • Contact helpline counsellors or psychiatrist.

How to prevent child abuse

  • Never discipline your child when upset. Avoid hitting or yelling at them.
  • Teach them moral values. Encourage good behaviour.
  • Teach them to be polite. We can resolve conflicts without hitting.
  • Build a good bond and a trustworthy relationship with your children. Spend quality time with them.
  • Involve them in play groups or activity classes.
  • Educate them about their rights. If they are aware about their rights to be safe, they would be less prone to abuse.
  • Keep an eye on what your child does online.

It’s so annoying when we adults sometimes just neglect such things around us.
Children are our future. As their parents and caretakers, it’s our responsibility to protect, support and give proper attention to them.
That doesn’t mean they should be cooped up in such an environment where there have no liberty to grow or flourish. In fact guide them, teach them to tackle tough situations.
Take them in your confidence.
Assure them that whatever circumstances, their parents are always beside them to guide.

As soon as you suspect child abuse, take immediate steps to report the abuse and provide unconditional support to the victim child.

Your timely intervention and treatment may help in the early recovery of the victim child.

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/child-abuse

Child Abuse and Neglect

http://childlineindia.org.in/child-abuse-child-violence-india.htm

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Keep reading, stay connected.❤