Even in this era, child abuse still exists and there are many types of child abuse happening today. It is, unfortunately, all so common these days, and physical violence is not the only type of abuse that minors suffer from.
Acknowledging not just physical but also emotional and sexual abuse is essential to stop it from occurring, persisting, and having a long-lasting negative impact on the childhood and self-esteem of the coming generations.
What Is Child Abuse?
Child abuse refers to the mistreatment or harm inflicted upon children, typically by adults or older individuals in a position of power or responsibility over the child. It involves any action or inaction that causes physical, emotional, or psychological harm to a child, impairs their development, or puts their well-being at risk.
Types Of Child Abuse And Its Effects:
It can be classified into the following types:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Medical abuse
- Sexual abuse
1- Physical Abuse:
It is a form of child abuse in which the child or minor is deliberately physically harmed or put at risk of harm by another person or even by the caregiver.
Following are some examples of it:
- Shaking, tossing, or hitting a child or a minor
- Giving intolerable punishments
- Suffocating child or minor
- Not providing food or water
- Not allowing to use bathroom etc
Effects Of Physical Abuse:
The physical injury’s acute pain, suffering, and medical issues will have the most impact on kids. However, even after the wounds and bruises have healed, the discomfort will linger. The effects of physical abuse on children worsen with time. Long-term physical problems, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or eye damage, can be brought on by repeated physical abuse.
2- Emotional Abuse:
Damaging the child’s self-respect and self-esteem could be far much worse than physical abuse. It includes verbal and emotional attacks such as continually depreciating or criticizing a kid as well as isolating, neglecting, or rejecting a child.
Effects Of Emotional Abuse:
A child who is going through emotional abuse at home is at greater risk of not having their basic needs met, including their protection and care needs. It can affect:
- Affect a kid’s emotional health and development.
- Name-calling others
- Bullying other children
- Mocking and insulting others.
- Teach them that abuse and violence is the solution to every problem.
3- Sexual Abuse:
Even while all forms of child abuse are awful, sexual abuse is the most common. However, it’s important to recognize that all types of abuse have the potential to be traumatic. It can include any kind of undesired sexual activity.
Effects Of Sexual Abuse:
One of the most profound effects of child sexual abuse is:
- Having nightmare
- Childhood chronic illness and STDs
- Shying and running away from showing affection
4- Medical Abuse:
Medical child abuse happens when someone gives false information about an illness in a child that needs medical attention, putting the child at risk of harm and unnecessary medical care.
Effects of Medical Abuse:
It can leave prolonged effects like:
- Terminal illness
- Damaging brain development
- Fear and nightmares
- Trust issues etc
It happens when an adult or caregiver fails to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs or deliberately does it. These include:
- Forgetting to give food to the child
- Not helping them with their basic needs
- Not seeking medical help when the child is severely ill
- Leaving the child unattended for long periods of time
Effects of Neglect:
Following are some of the common effects of neglect:
- Behavioral issues
- Poor growth
- Showing signs of anger, hostility, hyperactivity
- Isolating themselves from the world etc
What Is Child Advocacy?
Child Advocacy is actually a support system for children who are unable to speak up and stand for themselves and are in a vulnerable position or situation where they are helpless to gain their rights or stand for themselves.
So, we advocate by speaking on someone’s behalf, in this case, a kid. So, a teacher, a parent, a psychologist, a physical therapist, a trainer, etc. can advocate for them. However, these are incidental forms of child advocacy. Child Advocacy contains individuals, professionals, and advocacy organizations who speak out in the best interests of children.
The following steps are taken to conduct child advocacy:
- Firstly, the child is taken to a neutral and child-friendly place where the investigators can talk to the victim
- A forensic interview with the child is conducted.
- Interviews are recorded
- Assessment is done on whether the child needs more medical or mental attention
What Is Child Advocacy Service?
Child advocacy service works collaboratively with the places the child has the most interaction with like school, close relatives, playgroups, etc. Their services include:
- Therapy sessions
- Help them with overcoming the trauma
- Fight for the victim’s right
- Provide a safe place for them
- Give lessons on how to protect themselves
- Advance self-defense classes
- Prepare them on how to reach help in unsafe environments and situations.
Child abuse is terrible and distressing. It is crucial to raise awareness and safeguard youngsters since its consequences can persist for decades. Even if the therapeutic process isn’t always simple, it’s crucial that everyone involved gets the support they require.
This can put an end to the abusive cycle. Fostering a secure, reliable, and supportive connection can also assist families in learning to flourish.