Whenever I see a child he looks with innocence at me without knowing why I am looking at him. From centuries the presence of the kids have always been consider as a positive sign of prosperity and luck. But as the world started progressing the positive intentions were changed into the abusive side against those who are viewed as the future of the national society, who helped in building a smart and bright future. Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible sign, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse or child neglect, also leave deep, long lasting scars.
Physical abuse is shocking due to the scars it leaves, not all child abuse is as obvious. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised, dangerous situations, or making a child feel worthless or stupid are also child abuse. Regardless of the type of child abuse, the result is serious emotional harm. Physical abuse is just one type of child abuse.
Non-accidental physical injury may include severe beatings, burns, biting, strangulation and scalding with resulting bruises, welts, broken bones, scars or serious internal injuries. (National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse) An “abused child”, under the law, means a child less than 18 years of age whose parent or other person legally responsible for the child’s care inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical injury by other than accidental means which causes or creates substantial risk of death or serious disfigurement, or impairment of physical health, or loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. It is also considered “abuse” if such a caretaker creates or allows to be created situations whereby a child is likely to be in risk of the dangers mentioned above.
Physical Indicators: bite marks, unusual bruises, lacerations, burns, high incidence of accidents or frequent injuries, fractures in unusual places, injuries, swellings to face and extremities and discoloration of skin.
Behavioral Indicators in Child: avoids physical contact with others, apprehensive when other children cry, wears clothing to purposely conceal injury, i.e. long sleeves, refuses to undress for gym or for required physical exams at school, gives inconsistent versions about occurrence of injuries, burns, etc., seems frightened by parents, often late or absent from school, comes early to school, seems reluctant to go home afterwards, has difficulty getting along with others, little respect for others, overly compliant, withdrawn, gives in readily and allows others to do for him/her without protest, plays aggressively, often hurting peers, complains of pain upon movement or contact, has a history of running away from home and reports abuse by parents.
Family or Parental Indicators: many personal and marital problems, economic stress, parent(s) were abused as children themselves, were raised in homes where excessive punishment was the norm, and use harsh discipline on own children, highly moralistic, history of alcohol or drug abuse, are easily upset, have a low tolerance for frustration, are antagonistic, suspicious and fearful of other people, social isolation, no supporting network of relatives or friends, see child as bad or evil, little or no interest in child’s well-being; do not respond appropriately to child’s pain, explanation of injuries to child are evasive and inconsistent, blame child for injuries, constantly criticize and have inappropriate expectations of child and take child to different physicians or hospital for each injury
Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging, and since they are more subtle, others are less likely to intervene. While it’s easy to say that only “bad people” abuse their children, it’s not always so black and white. Not all abusers are intentionally harming their children. Many have been victims of abuse themselves, and don’t know any other way to parent. Others may be struggling with mental health issues or a substance abuse problem.
Abuse is any behavior that is designed to control and subjugate another human being through the use of fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion, manipulation etc. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as repeated disapproval or even the refusal to ever be pleased.
Emotional abuse is like brain washing in that it systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in their own perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the guise of “guidance,” “teaching”, or “advice,” the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self and remnants of personal value.
Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting that physical ones.
In fact there is research to this effect. With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically. She has become so beaten down emotionally that she blames herself for the abuse. Her self-esteem is so low that she clings to the abuser.
Emotional abuse victims can become so convinced that they are worthless that they believe that no one else could want them. They stay in abusive situations because they believe they have nowhere else to go. Their ultimate fear is being all alone.
Child abuse doesn’t only happen in poor families or bad neighborhoods. It crosses all racial, economic, and cultural lines. Sometimes, families who seem to have it all from the outside are hiding a different story behind closed doors. While abuse by strangers does happen, most abusers are family members or others close to the family. It is true that abused children are more likely to repeat the cycle as adults, unconsciously repeating what they experienced as children.
On the other hand, many adult survivors of child abuse have a strong motivation to protect their children against what they went through and become excellent parents.
Child’s ability to cope: A child will find a way to cope with the abuse. The methods a child uses can add to the effects. Coping skills can be:
- Physical, such as raging or becoming the “comedian” or “class clown”. While being “funny” is generally considered an attribute, there are children who use humour to cover up the fact that they are suffering.
- Emotional, such as the child refusing to try anything new for fear of failure, and therefore avoids receiving even more negative messages about themselves.
- Inward, where the child turns against him/herself, either physically (such as in self-harming in the form of cutting or burning) or emotionally (such as in self-blame).
- Outward, such as when the child acts out against someone else.
Children and youth suffer physical pain, trauma, and emotional scars when they are victims of child abuse. The physical child abuse effects also vary depending on the age of the child.
American Child Abuse Figures:
Although the incidence of child abuse and neglect has been decreasing in recent years, more than 1.25 million, or 1 in every 58 children in the United States, were abused in 2006. More than half (61 percent) of the children (771,700 children) were victims of neglect, meaning a parent or guardian failed to provide for the child’s basic needs. Forms of neglect include educational neglect (360,500 children), physical neglect (295,300 children), and emotional neglect (193,400). Another 44 percent were victims of abuse (553,300 children), including physical abuse (325,000 children), sexual abuse (135,000 children), and emotional abuse (148,500 children).
An average of nearly four children dies every day as a result of child abuse or neglect (1,760 in 2007). In 2007, nearly one-half of all victims of child abuse and neglect were White (46.1%), one-fifth (21.7%) were African-American, and one-fifth (20.8%) were Hispanic.
Although children of all ages experience abuse and neglect, it is the youngest children that are the most vulnerable, with almost 32% of the victims of child abuse and neglect being under the age of four years. 14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children. 36% of all women in prison were abused as children. Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime. More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.
Indian Child Abuse Figures:
During a study on child abuse in Kolkata – India, four out of 10 boys faced sexual harassment in school. Generally the age of maximum abuse is between 9 to 12 years. The national study found that the abuse gained momentum at the age of 10 and peaked from 12 to 15. A Belgian Catholic Church-backed commission published a report on September 10, 2010 revealing hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by clergy and church workers, and 13 suicides by abuse victims.
The commission said it had received 475 complaints in the first six months of this year from alleged victims or their families. Most were related to charges of sexual abuse committed between the 1950s and the late 1980s by Catholic clergy, but also by teachers of religion and adults working with youth movements.
India has become one of the hottest child sex tourism destinations. A report, Trafficking in Women and Children in India, sponsored by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), highlights this, mentioning not just Goa, which since the 1990s has uncovered rackets by Freddy Peats and Helmut Brinkmann, but also Alleppy and Ernakulam districts of Kerala, where houseboat tourism has lately seen a boom. In Kerala, “sex on the water” is the latest rage for paedophiles. Most paedophiles heading for Kerala start in Delhi, where police estimates the existence of 10 cartels specialising in child sex tourism. “With nearly a lakh homeless children in Capital, it’s easy for paedophiles to come and expolit them” says Dr Rajat Mitra, who heads Swanchetan, an NGO specialising rape trauma. In Mumbai, nearly 70,000 minors are abused yearly, estimates Kusumbar Choudhury of Save the Children India.
There are 500,000 children in prostitution, in India. More than 3 children die a day in the USA. Of the total number of children who were killed in the USA, from 1976-1997, 54 percent were killed by a parent, 15 percent were killed by strangers or unknown persons. There are over 15 million children in bonded labour, in India today. Twice as many girls than boys engaged in child labour. 63% of girls in Delhi, have experienced child sexual abuse at the hands of a family member (Sakshi, 1997).
In a study of a 1000 girls from 5 different states in India, (Rahi, 1997), 50% of the girls said that they had been abused when under 12 years of age, 35% had been abused between the ages of 12- 16 years of age. The average sex offender has 76 victims. (American data)
There are at least 18 million children living on the streets in India. In a number of joint studies conducted by UNICEF and the Ministry of Labour, 75% of the children reported treatment by staff as bad and 91.7% reported provisions of necessities as bad, Bangalore. In Mumbai 75.4 % reported bad treatment by staff and 53.2 reported that provisions were poor. One million children are trafficked into prostitution, in Asia every year.
Australian Child Abuse Figures:
A child may be the subject of more than one notification – in 2009-10, the 286,437 notifications recorded during the financial year concerned 187,314 children. The number of children subject to a notification has increased by 16% in the last 5 years (161,930 to 187,314) in Australia (though there was a 10% drop from a high of 207,462 children in 2008-09). There were 35,895 children in out-of-home care on 30 June 2010. In all jurisdictions the total number of children residing in an out-of-home care placement was higher at 30 June 2010 when compared with 30 June 2009. However the number of children admitted into out-of-home care decreased by 6% from 12,833 in 2008-09 to 12,002 in 2009-10. Almost one-third (30%) of children in out-of-home care were aged 10-14 years. A further 30% were aged 5-9 years, 25% were aged less than 5 years and 15% were aged 15-17 years.
Of those children in home-based care, 49.1% were in foster care, 48.5% were in relative/kinship care, and 2.2% were in some other type of home-based care.
A small proportion of children (5%) removed from their homes were placed in residential care, where staff were paid to care for them. Children in residential care were considerably older than children in home-based care, with 40% aged between 10-14 years and a further 45.7% aged between 15-17 years.
Pakistan’s Child Abuse Figures:
The number of cases of child abuse reported across the country increased from 4,386 to 5,268 in 2007, a report by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) has revealed. In 2006, the number of child trafficking cases was 86, police torture 96 and suicide incidents 18 whereas in 2007, cases of child kidnapping increased to 324, police torture 241 and suicides to 520. The statistics also reveal that 726 children were murdered; 387 female and 305 male children were sexually assaulted; 366 children became victims of physical torture; 85 were punished under Karo Kari; 1,084 children were kidnapped; and 1,230 children went missing during 2007.
The issue of violence against children is worsening as around 3,051 children were victimised in Punjab. Balochistan had the lowest number of cases, with 225 abuse cases in 2007. Report reveals ‘widespread’ phenomenon of male child prostitution Says children serving long terms in prison for minor offences. Says that 11,000 kiln workers in Sahiwal are under the age of 16.
It said that conditions in jails were worse and there were no special provisions for children living with their mothers. The report mentioned that there were some 70,000 children living on the streets nationwide. It said that Lahore is estimated to have 7,000 children living on the streets while in Peshawar there are a further 5,000. There are around 2,500 children in Quetta and 3,000 children in Rawalpindi are living on the streets.
Kilns: Quoting the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the report says that of more than 2,200 persons deported to Pakistan in 2007, 15 were children less than 18 years of age. The report also says that the number of children affected by the child labour and bonded labour is worsening with a rise in poverty. It mentioned that in Sahiwal, 11,000 kiln workers are younger than 16.
Researched Circumstances and some facts:
Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy. Abused teens are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. Children whose parents’ abuse alcohol and other drugs are three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from non-abusing families. One-third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance use to some degree.
Save child save future being abused.