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What are the main reasons why child abuse exists?

Updated on August 2, 2012


Child abuse facts reveal some of the shocking and alarming truths of our societies. Child abuse can be defined as any form of physical, emotional or sexual harassment which harms a child physically or mentally. Any act of neglect which leads to injury is also defined as a child abuse. It can occur anywhere including the home. Some forms of child abuse have always been a part of our society. It is in the recent past that organizations and self-help groups have developed which fight against it and help children recover from their losses. There are incidents of child abuse from all parts of the world either in their schools in the form of punishment or in their homes in from of neglect. The severe forms of child abuse draw a grey image of our society when all the facts and figures of child abuse are compiled from around the world.

There are four major types of child abuse which can be enlisted and explained as follows:

1. Physical Abuse –it involves harm caused to a child as a result of physical aggression. It may include hitting, shaking, throwing, burning, suffocating and all other forms which cause physical injury to a child. It also involves punishment given by parents for correction and control which induces illness in a child. Some signs of physical child abuse that a child may be facing are resistance to go home, fear of adults and marks of physical abuse on the body.

2. Emotional Abuse – it is any behavior, attitude or ill treatment which is affecting the emotional development of child. This may involve proving that the child is not important, preventing him to participate in social activities or overprotecting it, any action of violence witnessed by a child in his house is also a part of emotional abuse. It is not necessary that parents or adults are responsible for emotional abuse. Bullies at school are also considered a source of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is associated with all other types of abuse. Verbally abusing a child is also an emotional abuse.

3. Sexual Abuse – forcing a child into prostitution or enticing it to take part in sexual activity where he is not aware about his surroundings and happenings. These activities may include contact or non-contact like looking at him in sexually inappropriate manner, making him to look abusive images. A child under the age of thirteen is considered incapable of giving consent of any type and a child under sixteen cannot lawfully consent to sexual activities.

4. Neglect – this is the most prevalent form of abuse present in the society. The neglect may be in terms of physical, educational or emotional. When the basic physical and psychological needs of the child are not fulfilled it is termed as neglect.

According to child abuse statistics by WHO every year 40 million children face abuses of different form. Sexual abuse statistics are the most alarming where in some countries 36% of girls and 29% of boys face sexual abuse. These alarming facts have given rise to many organizations that are helping the victims and fighting against this social disease which has engulfed every part of society all around the world. They are creating awareness about the child abuse and the ways to fight with it. They are helping parents in recognizing their child fears and teaching them how to handle the situation with a calm mind without affecting the child’s mind and heart.

The existence of child abuse in our society can be confirmed through the numerous child abuse stories which pop up several times in our life. The reason for its existence cannot be explained completely. There are several factors which contribute to it. They can be termed as:

1. Social – economical causes – these include low family income, cultural values, institutional practices ending up in child abuse.

2. Family environment – domestic violence in the household, lack of parenting skills, being a single parent results in child abuse.

3. Parental problems – teenage parents, parents with low self-confidence, mental health problems and alcohol problems in parents result in child abuse.

4. Child related characteristics – age and gender of child also contributes to child abuse.

Child abuse articles helps in recognizing the reasons behind the existence of child abuse. There are several myths of child abuse which also provides an insight in its existence. Child abuse information gathered from around the world reveals the following myths prevalent in our society regarding a child abuse:

· Only violence against a child is considered child abuse

· People bad in their behavior are attached with child abuse.

· Child abuse cannot happen in good families.

· Child abusers are mostly strangers who harm the children.

· Abused children grow up as an abuser

· Children often make stories about abuse

Many of these myths have been broken through researches carried out by organizations on children. Others need to be broken down to help the child abuse victims. Though there may have been incidents where these facts were true but it does not define the whole matter of child abuse. Lack of proper parenting skill may also lead to child abuse. It can affect the child in various manners. The effects caused by child abuse can be long lasting and devastating. It can destroy the whole life of the victim. It is high time that we all in our own way work towards eliminating this societal disorder and improve the child abuse facts stated above.

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