What basically is child abuse and why is it an issue? Child abuse is physical, psychological or sexual neglect of a child or children by their parent(s), guardians or caregivers. It is when the guardian or parent does not give the care, devotion, surveillance and support needed by a child’s well-being and health. Child abuse also includes child labor and exploitation. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every year, there are an estimated 41,000 homicide deaths in children under 15 years of age because of sexual molestation and physical maltreatment. It is a global issue and the reason why I have chosen this topic is that this issue is rapidly growing, not only in subcontinent but all parts of world and yet strict attention is not paid to this issue.The question that arises in our minds is “Why does child abuse even happen?” There are certain factors that can lead to likelihood of harm which includes stress- financial problems, medical problems or job pressure-, lack of parenting skills- lack of literacy, not being able to brought up kids in a proper way-, use of drugs and alcohol and the last but not the least poor childhood experiences- intergenerational patterns of abuse. Furthermore, the society attitudes are also a contributing factor towards child abuse. Why is that kids don’t raise up their voices and report such incidents? The kids are scared to show up or hesitate by the fear of the person who has already abused them most of the times and the other times the children are ashamed to share such incidents with anyone when it happens in home or by their family members.
The severance and the need to stop this issue from growing can be deduced from the fact that almost 1 billion children aged 2–17 years experienced physical, sexual, emotional or multiple types of violence. According to kids health organization almost 3 million children are abused in USA alone and these are only the reported incidents. According to a survey held by W.H.O 73 million boys and 150 million girls under the age of 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourses and different kinds of abuses and violence. A global School-based student health survey found that 20% and 65% of school going children have reported to be verbally and physically abused or bullied in last 30 days. UNICEF estimated that more than 3 million females in subcontinent, Sudan and Egypt are subjected to female genital mutilation every year.Child abuse in India is often a secret aspect when it happens at home or by family members.
A surprising fact: intra-family or abuse that takes place at schools or government homes has received minimal attention of all. The old tradition of children being highly dependent on their parents even after they moved out even after they moved out of their parental home might seem very respectful but has proved to have negative effects on child protection and strategies. Immense number of child abuse cases a home are really hard to attain as they go unreported. India does not have a law that protects children against abuse In the home. 3rd April 2017, a BBC article calls Europe as a ‘hub’ of child abuse. The internet watch foundation found that 60% of worldwide abuse material was present I Europe.
The Netherlands were at the top of the list of countries hosting illegal content. In 2015, about 57% of the web sites containing abuse content could be found in North America, according to IMW figures. In 2016, this had dropped to 37% with the majority of it found in Europe now. Gareth, who is an adult now shared his real life story of being abused by his father on https://www.
Gareth tells about his past life, his parents got divorced when he was a toddler and he had to deal with a lot. He learnt how to look aftrer himself at an early age. In his story he tells how he grew u in mess and dirt, “Now I’m an adult I can’t stand dirt in my house or being around mess. Growing up the way I did has had a real impact on my life.
” His father started to sexually abuse him when he was 7 for the first time. He was scared and didn’t know what to do. He thought it was all normal and didn’t tell anyone. He thought of talking about it to a teacher but he was to scared because of his father’s threatening nature and bad temper so he locked up his thoughts in a box inside his head. His sexual abuse started till he was 13. All that happened with him had a deep impact on him “I used to get wound up, angry and moody about things. I think because I kept everything inside, sometimes my feelings would just burst out of me and I couldn’t control them.” There are stories of many other children who have been abused from all over the world on https://www.
nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/childrens-stories-about-abuse. I’m ashamed to admit that my country, Pakistan has a huge problem of child abuse too. It is growing day by day and strict attention is required to stop it. The most recently reported incident of an 8 years old girl named Zainab who was brutally raped and then murdered in Kasur has left me shocked, her killer was a carpenter who was also her neighbor.
This problem has to be stopped. According to a survey held by GEO News, 11 cases of child sexual abuse alone are reported from all over Pakistan. According to Sahil, an organization that works on child abuse a total of 1,764 cases of child abuse were reported from all over the country in the first six months of 2017 alone. The immense shocking number of child abuses brings attention towards the failures of law enforcement agencies. If this problem continues and no one even bothers to pay attention to this crucial issue the number of child abuses will keep on increasing. We can raise awareness of this issue by rallies, making posters for awareness giving speeches and spreading awareness in villages and backward areas of the importance of stopping child abuse and its effects on children. Government should introduce a law that what so ever case related to this issue is found, the punishment should be very strict so people would think twice before doing this deed. On a personal level we can try our best to promote this issue on social media and raise voice so that such miserable incident does not happen with anyone else.
Certain steps can be taken to control this issue or stop it from growing i.e. being a nurturing patient- children need to know that they are loved and they are capable of following their dream, respect your kids and treat them the way you want to be treated, establish parenting groups in your community so that people can help each other as we know parenting a child is not an easy task to do.
Furthermore, promotion of ‘Prevent Child Abuse’ programs in schools can be done, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help in keeping children safe.