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Understanding Child Abuse
What is Child Abuse?
A child is any person below 18 years of age.
Child abuse is by another person, adult or child- that causes harm to a child-that causes harm to a child. It can be physical, emotional or sexual, or may also be a lack of love, care and attention.
"Child abuse leaves a long and persistent effect on the self-esteem of an individual, continuing even till adulthood."
There are many forms of child abuse
1. Physical Abuse:
Inflicting physical injury upon a child. This may include hitting slapping, kicking, beating , pinching or otherwise harming a child.
2. Emotional abuse
It can be emotional or mental( called as psychological). It includes teasing, threatening, mimicking, belittling name-calling, spreading rumours and objectifying.
Stalking is also a part of emotional abuse. Its a behaviour that makes the victim feel unsafe. This may include, unwanted home visits, phone calls, texts, emails, or letters; leaving presents, following, watching her/his school, home and so on.
3. Sexual Abuse
Inappropriate sexual behaviour with a child, which includes:
- fondling a child's genitals or making him/her make fondle an adult's genitals.
- sexual assault( intercourse, incest,rape,sodomy)
- exhibitionism and pornography, indecent exposure
- talking to a child about sex for inappropriate reasons or narrating stories having sexual content.
- making obscene phone calls, sending sexually-oriented emails or text messages.
- peeping when the child is taking a bath, undressing etc.
4. Child Neglect
Not providing the child with the basic necessities. May they be physical, educational,emotional or psychological.
"A child is like a sapling. It needs nurturance and safety to grow."
Some common Myths related to Child Abuse
1. It doesn't happen in good families.
2. Only girls are the victim
3. Educating about child abuse scares children
4. Only men are offenders
5. Abuse happens in high risk cities or high risk families.
© 2017 Nitika Mehra