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Child Abuse - A Disgusting Practice
Putting A Stop to Child Abuse
The family is the institution where all children should be loved and nurtured. It is the primary area of socialization. Instead, there are families where children are abused and tortured. We, as parents, are responsible for our children's safety.
Most children are abused in the home. The one place where they are supposed to feel secure and loved. We all are exposed to stressful conditions within our environment but there are persons who do not have the ability to control violent impulses which can overcome them. As a consequence, children in their care are most vulnerable to all types of abuse and neglect.
Physical abuse includes hitting, shaking, poisoning, scalding with hotwater, drowning or any other physical harm to a child. Damage from physical abuse comes when the injuries are inflicted by those to whom children look for love and protection and there is no relief from the trauma.
There are different groups of abused children:
- Children who are physically abused which includes sexual abuse.
- Children whose parents are hostile and verbally abusive.
- Children who are neglected.
- Children who are abused emotionally.
Marital conflicts can start as the breeding ground for child abuse. Exposure to high marital conflict is associated with children's emotional and behavioral dysfunctions. The child looks to the family (mother/father) for guidance and when conflicts begin, the child becomes confused. The conflicts are stressful for children to observe. Negative emotional arousal is evident in children's self-reports, facial expressions, motoric behavior (placing their hands over their ears) Wolfe, McMahon & Peters, 1997 . Children can become aggressive and there is greater fear present in abused children. The high levels of frustration and negative feelings that some parents experience can result in physical child abuse.
Verbal abuse and physical abuse can result from parent(s) loss of job and unable to find employment - frustration (can't care for family); alcohol use and drug use that are done in front of children. Abuse can come from abusive parents with low self-esteem and feelings of little personal worth. Child-abusers have feelings of annoyance, anger, hostility and aggression. Thay do not become involved in community activities, which is really important for social support. Physical abusers tend to experience loneliness and do not really seek family support as they try to alienate themselves.
Repercussions of Domestic Violence
Abusive parents have very little communication and interaction with their children. Children who witness domestic violence are at great risk of becoming involved in violent relationships themselves. This group of children is harmed in so many ways. They may experience depression, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints, delinquency, peer conflicts, conflict with the law and other behavioral problems.
There is help for abusive parents. Child management training can be given to parents where parenting skills can be learnt but I believe that the emotional part has to come from within. Parents need to care, nurture and express genuine love. They need to get close and not remain distant or closed. They should be willing to listen and interact. These skills are needed in order to manage their children's behavior in turn.
Sexual Abuse - An Atrocious Act
Sexual abuse is another atrocious act. Females who were sexually assaulted as children tend to feel that they are destined to be victims. That is further from the truth! They need to seek help. All sexual abuse is traumatic and harmful. It affects a child's development in a multitude of ways and consequently affects the child's life.
Children are in emotional shock when sexual abuse happens and often feel numb, tense and afraid. They are left confused and miserable. Some children are not capable of stopping the abuse. The perpetrator violates a child's right to be safe and prevents the child from speaking about his/her behavior. Confusion, violence, pain, shock, fear of separation, loss of trust and protecting the perpetrator so as not to cause family disruption, threats of separation are examples of existing vulnerabilities that cause a child's passive inability to tell someone about the sexual abuse.
Recovery From Sexual Abuse
It is stated that recovery from sexual abuse is possible (Duncan, Karen 2004). There are certain types of treatment such as cognitive therapy, insight, anxiety reduction, massage therapy, fear desensitization and pain management, that help the abused person to heal from childhood sexual abuse. Abuse in any form is quite demeaning, therefore, we all have to get on board in the fight to save our children from any form of abuse.