Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child. Child abuse can occur in a child’s home, or in the organisations, schools or communities the child interacts with.
Types of Child Abuse
- Physical abuse – involves deliberately inflicting physical injury on a child, either through beating, kicking, burning etc. with an intention of harming the child.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is usually undesired sexual behaviour by a an adult towards a child. Child sexual abuse can be in form of fondling the child’s genitals or making the child does the fondling, having intercourse, incest, rape etc.
- Emotional abuse – involves an ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate a child or isolating or ignoring them.
- Psychological abuse – is a form of abuse, characterised by a person subjecting, or exposing a child to behaviour that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Neglect – involves a range of circumstances in which a parent or caregiver fails to adequately provide for a child’s needs.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Child
Sexually abused children exhibit a range of behaviours, including:
- Pain during urination and/or bowel movements.
- Bleeding, discharges or pain in mouth, genitals or anus.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Difficulty walking, sitting, standing.
- Torn, bloody, stained underwear.
- Withdrawn, unhappy and suicidal behavior
- Self-harm and suicide tendency
- Aggressive and violent behaviour
- Eating problems e.g. anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
- Mood swings
- Sexual behaviour, language, or knowledge too advanced for their age
Causes of Child abuse
The Causes of Child Abuse Are
- The parents who were abused when they were young have the tendency of abusing their children.
- Due to lack of opportunities and poverty make some parents neglect their children and use them for commercial labor in order to earn money.
- Parents who are addicted to drugs also have high tendency of abusing their children
- Some parents who are not prepare for marriage end up lacking the skills to take care of their children.
Effects of Child Abuse
- It reduces the child’s academic performance
- It creates low self esteem
- Children who are abused tends to withdraw from their peers and refuses to socialise
- It builds fear and distrust in a child
- It affects the psychological development of the child
- Abuse children are at risk of developing mental problems
Guidelines For Parents To Prevent Child Abuse
- Never discipline your child when your anger is out of control.
- Participate in your child’s activities and get to know your child’s friends.
- Ask questions; for example, when your child tells you he or she doesn’t want to be with someone, this could be a red flag.
- Listen to them and believe what they say.
- Be aware of changes in your child’s behaviour or attitude and inquire into it.
- Teach your child what to especially when s/he is alone.
- Teach your child about his/her private body parts and how to keep them private.
- Be alert for any talk that reveals premature sexual understanding.
- Pay attention when someone shows greater than normal interest in your child.
- Make certain your child’s school or day care center will release him/her only to you or someone you officially designate
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