Children are to be loved and protected .. NOT ABUSED!
Child abuse is one of the meanest and most heinous crime taking place in our society. We often read in papers, about the sexual assault mercilessly being committed on children as young as 3 years or less. Thus when we talk about child abuse a picture of a dead, severely hurt or crying child comes to our mind. But, this is not always the case; since, more often the abuse is well hidden and carried out for years never to be discovered. We need to watch out for this worst kind of social evil which exists among us, wake up from being passive spectators, try to intervene and help whenever possible to eradicate this evil permanently from our society. We live in denial that such things do not happen in our cultural society. To bring about change, first awareness and then acceptance about child abuse is very important.
Child abuse takes place often since children are vulnerable. Again we can say that children are vulnerable due to three different reasons.
1) Physically they are small and incapable of defending themselves
2) Psychologically they are ingrained that they should be good to elders and obey them. In addition they are made to follow the false belief that elders are always right.
3) They are gullible as they do not have knowledge about sex. They do not understand they are being abused at times. Moreover, if the Pedophile is cunning, he/she can mislead them to believe it is game, secret or sadly their own fault.
Change From Normal Behavior
In normal course an adult tries to protect the child, due to the inbuilt paternal and maternal instinct, which is important for survival of any speicies. But sometimes due to some psychological or emotional abnormality an adult may resort to abuse the child. Often it would be an easy outlet for their lust, anger, frustration or any other negativity rooted in them.
Different forms of child abuse
Abuse of children can be classified into 3 categories.
1) Verbal abuse
2) Physical abuse
3) Sexual abuse
Stop Child Verbal Abuse....
Verbal abuse: - The child is ridiculed and emotionally hurt by using words which are not to be said. Usually this abuse is carried on in the name of disciplining children. Every now and then we find a perfect target in a child to vent out our prejudices; frustration, anger, disappointments etc. In some cases it is carried on with actual bad intentions where a person may in fact hate the child for some reason. Verbal abuse can be done by anybody like mother, father, aunt, neighbor, teacher or any other person who is responsible for protecting the child.
The emotional impact of verbal abuse is quite strong and at times it leaves emotional trauma to the level of sexual abuse.
Physical abuse: - This is usually carried on by the people who believe in capital punishment (again in the name of discipline). Hitting the child, makes a person feel that they are in control of the situation and in position of authority. Often parents beat children because they feel it is a channel to vent out their frustrations. Some parents or teachers may not have skills that are required to handle a child with extra energy, inquisitive mind or a tinge of naughtiness. Their lack of knowledge and ability in handling the child will lead them to the easy way out by meeting out capital punishment. Physical abuse only gets momentary unwilling compliance from children. Constant physical abuse can push the child to become more stubborn and obstinate.
Sexual Abuse : This is very dreaded word because verbal and physical abuse do not cause as much emotional trauma as sexual abuse. According to survey 40-70%girls are victims of sexual abuse in India.
A large number of molesters are respected elders like uncles cousins etc.
Molesters can be in relationship like.
1) Male abuser to male child
2) Male abuser to female child
3) Female abuser to female child
One of the most prominent misconceptions the society has is that it has to protect the girls as boys are often safe from being abused. When we usually doubt something could be amiss when a man shows interest in a girl child, we often tend to ignore it when the child concerned is male. It is important to note that men tend to abuse male child, scarring their psyche forever quite often.
Sexually Abusing a girl child scars
her for life
Of all forms of abuse, the male abuser to female child incidents are highest and it leaves maximum emotional trauma. It leaves long term effect on the individuality of the child. She may grow up fearing men, hating touch, avoiding happiness and suffering from feeling of shame, guilt and unworthiness. Often they may feel they are sinners and indulge in self punishment.
In female abuser to male child, the child is always involved in some play and so doesn't realize he has been abused because there is no pain and no force involved with the act. He doesn't even know he is being exploited sexually due to unawareness about sexual exploitation. But when the realization comes, he may enter into the guilt feeling that he was too sex oriented because he enjoyed sex very early in life. That will make him conscious of his feeling of sex. Even normal tendencies may cause guilt that he is different from others.
The female abuser to female child again uses the same tricks where the child is fooled and does not realize what is actually happening.
How to protect a child
· Communication: - Talk to the child about where she/he has been. Who they played with. How they played. Keep in mind that you should not to make the communication interrogative.
· Teach vocabulary: - teach them how to say what they have to. Increase vocabulary as they grow up. Let them know that they have every right to refuse to do something they are uncomfortable with, even if it is their own parents telling them to do it.
· Respect the child and let the child respect himself/herself.
· Discuss potential abusers and abusive patterns. Teach them the difference between the right touch and the wrong touch and also that it is ok to feel uncomfortable and let the person know about it.
· Be aware of movements. Keep track of as to where the child is spending his/her time. Who they were with, what they did etc
· Build self esteem: - a child with low self esteem becomes a potential victim.
· Remove loneliness. The lonely child is also more vulnerable.
· Tell how to protect. Encourage to shout and scream when someone tried to harm her/him. You can conduct exercises teaching the children to shout. Assure them that they will be protected and not blamed for doing so.
Possible behavior pattern of abused child.
· Showing too much maturity for age
· Withdrawal from peer group, becoming a loner
· Lack of usual activities
· Using very adult like words
· Showing undue fear of places, situations, people etc
· Self punishment
· Guilt feeling
Every so often the abuser will be clever enough to instill the feeling of guilt and fear in the child. He/she may convince the child that they are also equally responsible for what happened. They were willing and happy because they never protested etc.
Do not hesitate to talk, question or check out when you feel there is something amiss and child abuse could be taking place, because you fear what if you are wrong. There is no harm in being sure that everything is alright. Please protect innocent children from the trauma of abuse whenever you can... it is our duty to protect the children and their right to be safe and protected…
|An abuser who is rude, may scar the child emotionally and physically for life|