A thorough essay on child abuse, its types, and signs
The world is a beautiful place to live in. It is the biggest blessing that we as human beings have got from the almighty. Thus, it is our duty to protect the beauty and integrity of our world. One auspicious element of human life, as well as the world, is childhood. Children are not only the hope for the future but also instrumental for maintaining our present happy status. These young minds are the source of betterment and newness in the world today and the time to come. Well, Each one of us knows the value of children and respects their individuality. But, few sick-minded people ill-treat children and take undue advantage of their credulity. They not only make these children work under unhealthy conditions but also load them with hard work. It is looking at these dark truths of the society that governing bodies passed certain laws to protect children's rights. These rights stand against any act that supports child abuse or affects mental or physical health.
What is child abuse?
Our society is full of evil-minded people, at one place, where there are saints and positive people who love to spread the word of love and brotherhood. Others think only about their individual benefits. These are self-centered people. One obnoxious act that money-minded beasts do is to involve little children in employment activities. They make such children do laborious tasks in the mining, cracker, or construction works. These people take away the very childhood from the lives of these children. Many people also forcibly make children indulge in sexual, begging, or house help activities. They snatch away the ingenuity and innocence from the life of children and dominate their everyday lives.
As per the data provided by UNICEF, 1 in every 10 children is subjected to child abuse. This accounts for 152 million in the world. Adding to the adversity, more than half of these children work in harsh conditions which are completely against the healthy lifestyle norms for a human being. (Child labor, 2020)
Types of Child Abuse:
When we talk about child abuse, we usually perceive that child abuse is related to physical abuse or violence as a tool to abuse. But this is not the complete scenario. To understand child abuse, you need to evaluate the various patterns of the behavior being observed. According to these patterns, you can take a deeper dive into understanding the various types of child abuse. As per a survey, out of 61% of the adults, approximately 1 out 6 reported that they had faced more than four types of abuse. The different kinds of child abuse faced by children worldwide help you gain clarity about the issue. Further, to help you enlighten your knowledge, given below are some different types of child abuse that we come across in our daily lives: (Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC, 2020)
Undoubtedly, physical abuse is one of the most common behaviors, including hitting someone physically, slapping, hitting, etc. Physical abuse is non-accidental harm caused by an adult to a child. It makes someone feel unsafe and frightened. Also, it leaves behind scars or marks on the body. These scars give an idea that a particular person may be suffering through physical abuse. In fact, this particular abuse accounts for 25% of child abuse cases, which falls second in practice after child neglect. Further, physical abuse can also be of various types. One, for example, is excessive discipline/punishment to the child. It usually starts with threats or light physical push and keeps on getting worsened with time. Experiencing this form of abuse in childhood can have long-term impacts on the child. (Understanding Child Physical Abuse | Kids Helpline, 2020)
Emotional or verbal abuse
Mostly invisible, but it is one of the most lethal ways to destroy someone’s self-confidence. It is done with the use of harsh and derogatory remarks. In emotional abuse, there is significant harm to the child’s self-esteem. Various examples are preferential treatment, yelling, ignoring their opinion, etc. After facing this kind of treatment, a child usually feels left out, thus negatively impacting his personality. (6 Different Types of Abuse - REACH, 2020)
Using coercion or force as a mode to involve a child in sexual activities is called sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is not just limited to sex. A child is called to be sexually abused even if the child's actions are so controlled that the other person is sexually aroused. Adding on, sexual abuse may include incidents like rapes, comments on the character of a person based on their sexual preferences or performances. According to a study, more than 120 million girls under 20 have been exposed to sexual abuse (Child maltreatment, 2020). Moreover, children exposed to consistent sexual abuse tend to suffer from traumatic stress, gynecological and sexual health issues.
Also known as psychological abuse, this type harms the mental state of the child’s mind. It may or may not hurt him physically, but it is emotionally hurtful. A child facing mental abuse always fears sharing personal experiences with other people. Also, he spends most of his time thinking about the drained emotional state of mind. Constant exposure to mental and psychological abuse results in negative impacts on mental health, daily routine, and the children's decision-making abilities.
Differentiating a child based on caste, appearance, culture, language, or preferences is also a form of abuse. For example, a child in school is always left out of the conversations because he doesn’t speak the same language. This hampers the growth of the child and puts him in a secluded state of mind. This kind of abuse is largely seen in schools and colleges. Moreover, the practice of bullying or ragging is a form of cultural abuse, which is generally carried out by remarking on a child’s individualistic identity.
Since abuse is all about control, gaining financial control over someone and then using the same control as abuse is equally destructive. Keeping control over the budgets, expenses and not letting another person have financial independence badly affects a person's daily life. This abuse is generally practiced in factories or offices, where children of younger age are paid less money but are made to work for longer hours. This makes a child aggressive and violent in nature.
Signs of Child Abuse
A child suffering from any kind of abuse may show various signs. These signs may be either in the form of altered behavior or change in the physicality of the child or even both. It is very important to observe these early signs of child abuse so that the damage can be controlled. Here are some of the important signs of abuse that may help you to detect if someone is suffering from abuse. (Redirecting, 2020)
Changes in Behaviour
A significant change in the behavior of the child is the first and most common sign of abuse. In many cases, you notice that a child may stop liking certain things or hobbies that used to make him happy earlier. Also, a child suffering from abuse may become introverted and start showing different emotions such as aggression or unexpected anger. Further, a depressed or constantly low sound along with a feeling of being scared to open up in public are other changes to note that might be a result of child abuse.
A child suffering from abuse may have some unexplained injuries. There may be marks of burns or bruises which can be a sign of abuse. Furthermore, the child may also try to give some unconvincing reasons for the marks and injuries. This can help you get close to the fact that the respective child is suffering from abuse. Here it becomes the responsibility of the parent to cross-check these facts and save their child from abuse before it starts impacting the child's life.
Changes in sleeping pattern
A child suffering from abuse may show changes in sleeping patterns. The child may experience nightmares or show fear from the darkness. This change in sleeping habits gives a sign that something is not going well in his life.
Changes in eating habits
Another significant way to identify child abuse is to observe the changes in the eating habits of the child. The child may tend to eat less, become weak and there is always a lack of interest in eating those dishes which used to be his favorites at some point in time.
Child abuse and neglect
Child abuse and neglect are interrelated to each other. In most cases, child neglect is the root cause of child abuse. According to a survey, out of all the reported cases of child abuse, approximately 61% of the victims were suffering from neglect. In other words, if child neglect is controlled, there can be a significant drop in the number of child abuse cases. (National Child Abuse Statistics from NCA, 2020) Hence, it is very critical to understand the importance of keeping a check on the basic necessities of the child. This is to assure that the child does not feel left out or neglected.(Child Abuse and Neglect, 2020)
Further, one thing not to forget is that love and care are the fundamentals that a child needs in his life. Therefore, child neglect is certainly a failure to meet the expectations of the child. The care, love and other facilities that a child wants should be given to him. It is when a child is left unattended for a longer duration as a routine, this makes him prone to child abuse. For example, If a child is deprived of proper facilities, clothing, food, and other things. He may start feeling low on confidence about himself. In addition to this, the child starts doubting his own personality thinking that he lacks something due to which he is neglected. Thus the child is pushed towards a pessimistic thought process. A child who has faced abuse and neglect is likely to pass on this behavior to the next generations and the cycle keeps on continuing. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize abuse and neglect at a very early stage to break this cycle.(Neglect, 2020)
Therefore it is very important to focus on the grooming and supervision of the child. For this, parents should ensure that there is proper two-way communication with the child. Furthermore, listening to him makes him feel safe and secure. Also, it gives him an assurance that he can share his life issues with his parents. It should be made sure that he feels comfortable in sharing his problems without any hesitation.
Types of Neglect
Neglects can be of many types and to understand various types of neglect, you should be able to recognize the early signs of neglect. This can be done by proper parenting and supervision. The identification of signs is important so that they can be amended well in time. It is the early identification of problems that can save the child from suffering in the future (Neglect, 2020). Though neglects cannot be specifically categorized, but broadly they can be discussed in the points given below:
It is crucial to understand the basic needs of a child via proper supervision. A routine check should be kept to ensure that child needs are met. Physical neglect is a failure to meet basic needs such as clothing, food, and household facilities. At times, a child has a demand for example any kind of food, and parents do not provide him because it may not be good for the child's health. When the child is denied, parents should also make sure to tell their child why consuming that food is bad for him and convince him for the same. Additional efforts should be made to assist him with an alternative that is good for him.
Medical neglect is the inability to meet the medical needs of the child. It also includes proper nutrition; healthcare services like vaccines and proper dental care. It should be made sure that all the recommendations given by the doctors or nutritionist are well followed. This further assures that a child is not deprived of his daily nutritional needs and healthcare facilities.
Emotional neglect is the failure to establish a relationship of mutual bond and trust with the child. Sometimes, a child wants to share something that may or may not be relevant. But what’s more relevant is that whatever he wishes to share or talk about should be heard. This helps in building a strong emotional bond with the child and the child starts feeling protected. If the parents neglect the emotional needs of a child, then, the child may start feeling left out. Moreover, if the parent fails to form a bond, the child may try to find someone else to share it with, which makes him prone to potential abuse.
It means to overlook proper education and schooling facilities for the child. Furthermore, parents should be well aware of their child's interest in education, i.e., subjects and field of study. If these interests are ignored, and the child is forced to study some other course or subject in which he has no interest, this also becomes a part of educational neglect. Therefore, parents should ensure that they provide good educational facilities to the child, which is very important for the child's growth.
Types of neglect are not limited to these four points only. Neglect may exist in any form and it is important to recognize it well in time. In most cases, children suffer mental stress and they lose their natural ability to deal with stress. The child denies learning new skills and tends to oppose them with aggression. Proper communication, a strong emotional bond, and a good lifestyle make sure that a child is not neglected in any aspect. It has to be kept in mind that only parents can save their children from abuse. It is crucial to remember that effective two-way communication helps the child to share his issues. (Child Abuse and Neglect, 2020)
Furthermore, parents should try to ensure their children that nothing can go wrong if they share their problems with them. Parents should try that their child is not neglected in any phase of life and good parenting is a solution to it. This can be done by creating a happy family atmosphere. Also, the establishment of good socio-economic status helps the child to grow with good memories, habits, and an optimistic approach towards life.
Consequences of child abuse and neglect
First and the most important thing, neglecting the act of child abuse and not acting against it is in itself a crime. You are meant to report a crime if you witness a child labor act. If you don’t do so, the consequences of child abuse as well as neglect are similar. The results of child abuse are hard as well as harsh for the child and his family. The consequences range from mental imbalance to the loss of zeal to live and love. In fact, the severity of the abuse often lands the child in a state where he does not wish to reveal his real self to the world. Following is a brief account of the aftereffects of child abuse on his life:
The marks and the scars on the body of the child speak for themselves. But, more than that child abuse has many negative impacts on the health of the children. These children often develop diseases like diabetes, lung diseases, brain hemorrhage, malnutrition, arthritis, heart attack, back and vision problems among many others. One basic reason for such chronic health diseases is the absence of a healthy lifestyle. We, as human beings are dependent on food and water. The mere absence of any of these necessities can take our breath away from us. Now, the children working in coal, mining, or cracker factories or not given proper food, forget about nutritious diets. Further, the water they drink is not clean and the environment they breathe in is full of toxic chemicals. All these things together impact strongly on the health of these little children. Moreover, the maltreatment that these children have to go through as a part of child abuse, imposes dangerous implications on their health in the future. (2020)
The psychology of a child is very different from that of a grown-up. The marks you leave on his mind in the beginning years of his growth are there to remain for his lifetime. You as a human must remember a few of the happiest and saddest moments of your childhood. The sad ones still have the power to bring tears to your face. But, think about the children who did not have any reason to smile. The atrocities they have faced continuously over the years make them weak mentally. It takes away their confidence and the zeal to live. In fact, it gives them an unrecoverable mental setback, which they find very difficult to heal from. This results in the poor growth of the child’s mind and they often refrain themselves from any new contact in the society. (2020)
A child is often referred to as the pot, which can be shaped in a multitude of ways. It is his childishness that helps him learn and adopt various things at the same time. But, what about the children who have been taken advantage of and from whom society has taken the right to be a child. Their very identity is lost, which is what impacts wrongly on the behavioral response of the child. Such children who have been through abusive life or instances in the past often are not able to trust humanity. They avoid making new relationships or even contacts with the people around them. (2020)
In addition to avoiding making contact with new people, a child who has faced child abuse in the past also distances himself from society. He does not believe in any of the promises given by his schoolmates or teachers. This distancing lays a strong impact on his personality in society. You must have seen a variable difference in the attitude of the children who are chirpy and smiling in the class in comparison to the ones who merely focus on the studies. There is always a story in the past of the latter ones. This forces them to stay secluded and not open themselves up very easily with the people or children around. (2020)
Child abuse essay
This section details an essay on child abuse. If you are a college student, you must be aware of the fact that essay assignments are a very important part of college life. At the same time, it is not very easy to write lengthy essays. Therefore, this section helps you in compiling a complete essay that gets you HD grades in your college assignment. Also, for any other topics, you may need to cover, you can go through our elaborative list of sample essays covering a wide range of niches.
Child abuse- the biggest crime against humanity!
Childhood is the most precious time of everyone’s life. It is the only time, we always wish to visit back once again in our lifetime. The friends we make, the memories we develop and the bonds we share all are priceless. Some stay with us forever, while others leave us with the passage of time. But the sad fact is that not every child is blessed with the butterflies of childhood. Some have to face the harsh realities of life, from the very beginning. In most cases, it is the unstable financial conditions of the home, that generally forces a person to fall prey to child abuse. He keeps on taking the cruelties of the other person just to ensure the free flow of money at his place. This essay details the various reasons for child abuse and the changes we as a society should adopt to eradicate this issue.
The first and the foremost reason for child abuse is neglect by parents. It is the duty of every parent to take proper care of their children. The reasons for financial depression and the inability to meet the needs of the family, cannot justify the neglect towards children. The same has been reported by a study, The Great Recession and risk for child abuse and neglect, done by research scholars. The results of the study indicated that there is a direct connection between the economic disparities and the risk of abuse and neglect on children. The study has been conducted during the time of recession experienced by America and the world around. (Schneider, Waldfogel, and Brooks-Gunn, 2017) However, the fact is that every child of the world should get the love he deserves. It is his right to be loved and given the opportunity to grow in independence. The parents can not take away the childishness from their children due to their inability to meet the financial needs of the family. A child is at the initial stage of his mental development. He not only needs better guidance but also needs emotional support. The very support from the parents to move ahead and stay stable in life is instrumental for the morale of a child. Along with feeling secure, the motivation also strengthens his urge to stay connected with his parents. Moreover, the parents need to extend care in addition to proper emotional bonds. There are few areas, which he needs assistance for, thus the parents should be available for that. Also, the laugh, happiness, and cuddling he deserves should not be taken away from him. The very essence of his childhood should be kept intact and it is the duty of the parent only, to do so.
The second biggest reason for child abuse is the stress that the parents go through. This particular stress and instability of the job push a parent to become harsh towards his child. In fact, when a parent starts getting addicted to drugs or alcohol, then he often mistreats his child sexually. The cases of sexual abuse by parents of the child have been believed to grow substantially in recent years. As per reports in 2017 by America nspcc.org, in 80.1% of cases of child abuse, the parents are the abuser. (Child Neglect - American SPCC, 2020) This includes the sexual assault made by the parents. Though, the non-earning capability of the parents might be a troublesome issue for them. But, they have no right to yell, shout, scold or even beat their children on the lame excuse of being stressed. Though, neglect and scolding by parents have been practiced for a very long time. (Child Neglect - American SPCC, 2020) But, the repercussions of the same have multiplied negatively due to the exposure of online resources to little children. To bring this in control, 1974 Public Law 93-247, a law known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was established. This law made it compulsory for different states to bring in actionable practices to control the growth of child abuse. (Child Abuse and Neglect - Causes of Abuse and Neglect, Effects of Abuse on Children, Prevention of Child Abuse, 2020).
Moving forward, the third common reason for child abuse is unawareness. Many children are unaware of the assault being done on them. They are the young minds who are used to experiencing neglect and disregard from people around them. The exposure to bewilderment is so high that they become insensitive to the wrong done on them. As per the studies, it is believed that every one in four girls and one in every 8 boys is exposed to sexual abuse, even before they turn 18. (Child Abuse, 2020) This very fact is an eye-opener for society. It shows the level of sick-minded people we have in our world. This not only makes it unhealthy and unsafe for the children. But, it is also a fact that hampers the growth of the society in total. The fact that a girl child is not safe in our society has to be dealt with great care and precision. For this, the biggest reason for unawareness should be dealt with. Children from the very beginning of their adolescent age should be made aware of the ways in which they can be harmed. More care needs to be taken for the smaller children who are unable to differentiate between right and wrong. Along with introducing them to the difference, they also need to be told how to protect themselves if they come across a person with wrong intentions. Moreover, sexual child abuse is even more common among children who are mentally unstable. It is because of their inability to understand the wrong done on them, that the criminal oppresses them with the worst treatment. Even, such children have been seen to repeatedly fall prey to such horrendous people. (Child Abuse, 2020). Therefore, there is an immediate need to make such children aware of the abuse and how they can protect their rights.
To conclude, it can be said that the world is a place filled with mixed breeds of human beings. There are humans who can die for their children as well as the monsters who kill and eat their own children. Any form of disparity or violence against children is a heinous act of child abuse. No human, not even the parents of the child has the right to mistreat the children in any way. Whether it is in the form of slap or scolding. The lame excuses for beating the child are invalid in the present scenario. We, the people of the world today need to take a stand against any kind of child abuse. Whether it is mental, physical, or sexual, every abuse is detrimental to the growth of a child therefore unacceptable. We need to together raise our voices against the wrong and make sure that no child is subdued with the negativity of the horrific people.
The right of every child to live and laugh should be respected and given due consideration. The awareness of the rights and wrongs done to children should be a lesson given to them at a very early age. In addition to this, strict laws should be made against the people who get involved in child abuse. For this, we as a community as well as the children themselves have to stand against this social evil and together make a difference.
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