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Child Abuse: Listen To The Tolling Bells Before It’s Too Loud To Bear

Arya Sharan

The children are the future of our nation. Filled with creativity, curiousity, and chaos, children are still the most vulnerable, least strong (physically and mentally), and least likely to be able to protect themselves from a dominant adult power.

And thus as adults, it’s our responsibility to ensure a safe, educational and happy childhood for the kids so that they grow up to become responsible, kind, considerate and happy souls someday.

 

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child abuse and child maltreatment as "all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.

 

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Physical abuse includes physical injury ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting, burning, or otherwise harming a child, that is inflicted by a parent, caregiver, or any other person responsible for the child (any older person the child trusts).

Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or a caregiver such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.

Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) is a pattern of behaviour that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth.

Abandonment: A child is considered to be abandoned when the parent’s identity or whereabouts are unknown, the child has been left alone in circumstances where the child suffers serious harm or the parent has failed to maintain contact with the child or provide reasonable support for a specified period of time.

 

EFFECTS

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  • low self-esteem
  • increased fear, guilt and self-blame
  • distrust
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts
  • anxiety
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • poor cognitive development
  • behavioural problems
  • developmental delay
  • risky sexual behaviour
  • permanent physical injuries
  • proximity to severe isolation

 

PREVENTION

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  • Establish Understanding: Have realistic hopes, positive outlook and reasonable anger towards your child. Try to understand their mental situations under all circumstances. Develop such an understanding that they come up with all their issues trusting that you can solve it.
  • Make their healthy life a priority: Aware them about benefits of being healthy psychologically and physically. Take care of the young ones in all possible ways.
  • Watch your words. Avoid abusive language and rude behaviour. Try to bring out the softer side of you while you talk to them.
  • Learn the facts and comprehend the risks: Reality of a situation and logical evaluation of circumstances should influence your decisions regarding the child. Never trust anyone else with what your child is ever scared of.
  • Act on the doubts: If you ever doubt something unnatural, eliminate the one-adult/one-child situations.
  • Create a friendly environment: Make sure your kids are not scared of you so that they talk about everything and communicate with you freely.
  • Stay Alert: Obvious signs might not be visible but keep observing your child’s behaviour.


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