Child Abuse can be defined as harming (whether physically, emotionally, or sexually), ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any child.
Manipulation is when They blame you for your reaction to their Disrespect
If they are children it doesn’t mean, they can be ‘open to’ harm, injury, violence, and abuse.
As a society we are responsible to ensure that every child in our family, locality, community, region, state and nation is safe and feels safe.
Safe places for children are those where children feel secure and protected. They are nurtured, looked after and cared for.
As adults, it is our responsibility to observe child behaviour and encourage them to speak up.
Choose wisely who you defend
Because of ignorance and dependency on the abusers, children often are unable to express that they are abused.
Physical abuse can be caused from punching, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, burning or throwing the child.
Indicator in child
- Unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, abrasions, Unexplained burns, Unexplained fractures
- Injuries to areas of the body that is usually protected /covered.
- Delay in seeking medical attention for a child
- Is violent to animals or other children
- Tries to hide bruises or other injuries
- May be extremely withdrawn or extremely aggressive
- Is wary of adults or of a particular individual
- Cannot recall how the injuries occurred or gives inconsistent explanations
It occurs when a child’s emotional, psychological or social well-being and sense of worth is continually battered. It can include a pattern of criticizing, rejecting, discriminating, degrading, ignoring, isolating, corrupting, exploiting and terrorizing a child.
Indicator in child
- Bed-wetting or bed soiling that has no medical cause
- Frequent Headaches, nausea, abdominal pains
- Has not attained significant developmental milestones
- Displays attention seeking behaviours or displays extreme inhibition in play
- When at play, behaviour may model or copy negative behaviour and language used at home
- Suffers from severe developmental gaps
Indicator in adults
- Constantly labels the child or publicly humiliates the child
- Continually threatens the child with physical harm or forces the child to witness physical harm inflicted on a loved one
- Has unrealistic expectations of the child
Sexual abuse includes acts where an adult uses a child for a sexual purpose. While it may involve a stranger.
Indicator in child
- Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
- Bruises, lacerations, redness, swelling or bleeding in genital, vaginal or anal area
- Blood in urine or faeces
- Unusual or excessive itching or pain in the genital or anal area
- Difficulty in sitting and/or walking
- Signs of sexually transmitted disease Indicators in a child’s behaviour
- Outburst of anger
- Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
- Age-inappropriate sexual play with toys, self, others
- Sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge
- Nightmares, sleeping problems
- Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
- Becoming unusually secretive
- Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
- Regressing to younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting
- Fear of certain places or persons e.g. bedroom or bathroom, friend-uncle
Indicators in adult behaviour
- Insist on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it.
- Insist on time alone with a child with no interruptions.
- Spend most of their spare time with children and have little interest in spending time with people their own age.
- Frequently walk in on children/ teenagers in the bathroom.
- Treat a particular child as a favourite, making them feel ‘special’ compared with others in the family.
- Regularly offer to baby-sit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone.
- Buy children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason.
What to do??
- Learn to recognize the signs
- Provide a listening ear
- Offer help
- Give helpful information
- Explain that violence is not OK
- Look for community systemic support for the family
- Can contact Childline (1098) to talk over your concerns confidentially with a trained social worker.
Take following steps on Emergency
Step-1: Immediately contact parents if child is not abused by parents and if child can give information of his/her parents.
Step-2: Contact any one of the following agencies to provide required support to parents and child: DCPU, SJPU, Childline, CPCs, Police or CWC. You can also take help from credible NGOs working on Child Rights in your area.
Step-3: Provide emergency support such as medical aid, clothing, food and transportation to safe places. Make sure that you handover this child to responsible adults from above mentioned list only.
Step-4: Help authorities with whatever information and evidence you have as regards abuse of the child to make sure that the abuser is punished. If possible give written information.
Step-5: Maintain privacy to ensure that the name of the child is not disclosed to media or public in any ways.
- Create Safe places for children in community, neighbourhood and society.
- Create Structures and Systems where children can express their feelings and emotions freely without any inhibitions.
- Create Structures and Systems to ensure safety and to ensure that children are supervised.
- Educate children about safety measures. Provide information about the emergency contact numbers.
- Create awareness: About child protection systems and networks. Keep this information handy.
- Build network of concern individuals and groups to help children. Develop support systems for children.
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