CHILD ABUSE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
Child abuse is one of the biggest problems in the world. Child abuse can take place in various forms. It may be in the form of physical abuse. In physical abuse a child is severely beaten up. In sexual abuse the child is molested or forced to have sexual intercourse. Violence on children is usually done by family of the child or someone known to them. This means that the person causing pain to child is someone he knows and loves. Children trust adults that they grow up with. If a child is ill-treated by someone he trusts he will grow up not being able to trust anyone.
A child is the face of innocence. A child’s mind is like clay. Just like you can mould clay into any shape you like you can also mould the thoughts of a child in any way. If a child grows up in violence he will be a violent adult. If a child grows up in love he will grow up to be a loving and caring adult.
Child abuse results in a lot of negative effects. It may cause the child to become emotionally isolated. Repeated physical abuse leads to health problems for children. A child’s body is not fully developed and if it is made to suffer physically proper development may never take place.
Sometimes the violence against children remains hidden. It may sometimes be seen as a part of culture and considered socially acceptable. Sometimes children are accused of witch-craft. They are then beaten up. A child is the most innocent form of human life. If such accusations are put on children to justify violence on them then the future of our world is very dark.
It is often said that a little violence is important to make a child learn how to respect elders. However, respect cannot be imposed by fear. Respect is something that is earned. If adults are loving and caring to a child the child will respect them. Also if a child obeys an adult just because they are scared of being beaten does not mean that they learn what is right. All they learn is that violence will lead to obedience.
WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT CHILD ABUSE
Since children cannot take care of themselves does not mean that they are alone when they are subjected to abuse by their loved ones. The law is on their side. Children also have rights under the law. Human rights law protects the rights of all human beings including children. Human rights law recognizes that children should grow up in a healthy environment. It recognizes that children need love and care. The following four rights are seen as important for the development of a child:
1. Right to survival- This means that the child should have a name and a nationality. A child should have a healthy life.
2. Right to development- Children should be educated.
3. Right to protection- Children should be protected from abuse and ill-treatment.
4. Right to participation- A child should be allowed to express thoughts and feelings.
Child abuse may be prevented by creating support groups. Parents, teachers and all adults interacting with children must be sensitive to the needs of a child. Further, NGO’s and government institutions can also help reduce child abuse.
Children make a very important part of society and their well-being is a matter of concern. Children are the future of our world and we must do everything to protect them.