Child abuse is a serious issue which just isn’t being given enough importance. We thought we should throw a little light on child abuse awareness and ways to prevent child abuse with simple parenting advice.
What is Considered as Child Abuse
There are different kinds of abuse which a child may go through. This can have serious implications on the child’s development, character shaping and can involve years of child counseling to rectify.
Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, is a very common form of abuse in children. If a child is going through physical or sexual abuse, it is likely that the child will be facing emotional abuse as well. Emotional abuse can also come from emotional neglect, insults, humiliation, unrealistic performance expectations and rejection. Emotional abuse can impact a child’s ability to adapt socially and reduce their self-confidence.
Physical abuse may even come from ‘non-intended abuse’ where the adult may not necessarily intend to hurt the child. There are many other types of physical abuse a child may face as a result of anger and lashing out, or even if the adult is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Physical abuse is more often than not accompanied by emotional abuse. Physically abused kids are usually fearful and find it difficult to develop trust easily.
Sexual abuse usually involves an adult trying to engage a minor in a sexual act or displaying inappropriate sexual behavior towards them. Sexual abuse is more often than not conducted through physical and emotional threats and forceful actions. It can include fondling of genitals, masturbation, forced oral sex, penetration and forceful engagement in pornography. Sexual abuse usually does serious emotional damage to the child. It can also lead to mental disorders in the future.
Ways to Prevent Child Abuse
Understand the reality: Child abuse is one of the most common types of abuse. 1 in every 4 children either has been or is being abused. It is likely that you know a child who is going through some sort of abuse. It is also likely that you know an abuser. It could be anyone around us, our friends or colleagues. Very often due to lack of awareness, abusers do not even realize that they are inflicting a form of abuse on the child. You can minimize opportunities and risk of child abuse by recognizing such situations and spreading awareness.
Talk openly: Abused children will usually close themselves off and not be open to talking about these situations. It’s important to reassure them and gain their trust. It is also important to understand why they do not want to talk about it. Gain their confidence and let them open up to you about what they are going through. Assure them that you want to help their situation.
Plan your actions: If you realize a child is being abused, you should have a plan of action to counter the circumstances. You should be aware of what to do, where to go, who to call and how to react. You cannot always expect obvious or visible signs of abuse. You have to learn how to read between the lines. Get involved by volunteering at child welfare organizations to learn how to deal with these situations.