Child abuse or child mistreatment is any type of physical, sexual, neglect and psychological misbehavior with children under the age of 18. Every year, child abuse or violence to children rights affects millions of children globally. Victims of child abuse develop mental and psychological issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress. Besides ,the terrible experience of child abuse affects the whole life of the victim. Developing mental health issues is not the only problem. It not only effects the learning abilities of children but also, they develop antisocial behaviors. Such as they do not get along with family and fellows. Moreover, the victim children are more prone to criminal activities in adulthood.
In the year 2015, in United States, 1,670 child deaths were reported because of child abuse. Every year, nearly 700,00 children face some type of child abuse. The reports suggest that the youngest child in a family is at more risks of facing child abuse. About 24.2 children out of 1000, become victims of child abuse in first five years of childhood. Almost 50-60% cases of the child abuse are not reported on death certificates of victims.
Who are the abusers?
Children are more likely to be abused by relatives, cousins, caretakers and workers at home and educational institutes. Most of the victims are not courageous enough to speak out and this damages their personality. In 90% of the cases, the child knows their abuser or perpetrator. Most of the time, the abuser himself has faced child abuse. Psychological or mental issues are also factors which make a person child abuser.
The parents of children are somehow equally responsible if they do not support and understand their child’s behavior. In many cases, the step parents abuse their children. If the victim does not have supportive families, they develop psychological issues and blame themselves which results in low self-esteem.
Types of Child Abuse
Child abuse or mistreatment involves many forms of cruelty or violence. Main types of child abuse are:
- Physical abuse such as hitting, beating, scratching, choking a child is physical abuse
- Sexual abuse which involves sexual assault of child by the adult, spying the child and incest
- Psychological abuse involves criticizing, bullying, ignoring or neglecting a child. Failure to provide the child with basic needs such as shelter, food, safety. Lack of attention is also a form of psychological abuse.
The Effects of Child Abuse
When a child faces any type of abuse, it leads to:
- Self-blaming and shame
- Anger and aggression
- Antisocial behavior
- Sadness, low self-esteem as well as lack of confidence
- Learning disabilities such as difficulty in concentrating when studying
What We Can Do?
The law enforcement agencies and the child protection centers are providing their services in protection and rehabilitation of child abuse victims. As a responsible member of society, every single one of us have some obligations to prevent child abuse:
- People should be made aware about the issue of child abuse. Also, what parents need to do to protect their children.
- A child must know about his/her privacy, the basic rights.
- The good touch and bad touch.
- There should be a friendly relationship of parents and children. So that they do not hesitate or feel ashamed to talk about such issues.
- In case the child has already faced child abuse, he/she must be given proper care and support. This will resolve his psychological issue such as fear and post-traumatic stress.
- Report immediately to the law enforcement agency or child protection centers if you know any case of child abuse.
The rapid increase in child abuse cases is an alarming situation worldwide. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Raise your voice to eradicate this evil.