The phenomenon of child abuse is considerably widespread nowadays. Abuse of children deals with physical, sexual, as well as emotional cruel treatment of children. In addition, child abuse or maltreatment is connected with the threatening or causing harm to children by parents or caregivers. Abuse of children may occur not only at home, but in schools, organizations, and other places as well. Different spheres that involve human interactions and cooperation may involve abuse of children. The given paper determine and analyzes the notion of child abuses, its types, negative effects as well as possible solutions to this problem.
According to the opinions of many professionals who work in this sphere, abuse and neglect of children usually happens because of numerous reasons. In addition, child abuse may take place among different cultural as well as ethnic groups. Taking into consideration the definitions of child abuse provided by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act or, in other words CAPTA, abuse of children may be explained as an inappropriate behavior of parents or caregivers that results in various types of harm as well as exploitation (Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect, 2014).
Types of Child Abuse
According to the opinions of experts in this sphere, who are interested in the sphere of maltreatment of children around the world, there are four basic types of child abuse: physical, sexual, psychological maltreatment as well as parental neglect. According to the results of the Child Abuse Report, neglect is recognized as the most widespread form of abuse or maltreatment. Besides, the primary issue that stimulates neglect is poverty of humans in different corners of the globe that struggle to survive (Fry, 2012).
The first type of abuse is a physical maltreatment of children. It is rather important to note the fact that physical abuse of children is connected with cruelty and aggression. However, many nations around the world support the basic idea that physical abuse of children is an impermissible behavior because children are considered to be a vulnerable group of population. There is a risk as doctors believe that physical maltreatment may result in severe injuries, disorders, and even death. It is rather important to note that Sweden was the first country in the world that officially banned the corporal punishment of children. In other words, in 1979, this country successfully ratified the document on the national level that banned different forms of abuse of children (Fry, 2012). Moreover, according to the results of the official data, about 40 nations around the globe support the idea that physical abuse of children is considered to be an inappropriate action. Physical abuse of children includes many forms that differ according to the degree of seriousness. Such “light” forms of maltreatment as slaps in the face as well as intentional humiliations are included to the list of physical abuse of children (Fry, 2012).
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Second type of child maltreatment is called sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse may be explained as a participation of a child in the process of a sexual intercourse. Numerous researchers convince that this form of abuse is very broad. In other words, it involves numerous types of abuses, including participation in sexual acts, showing pornographic materials to children, exposure as well as viewing of genitalia, and many others. It has been estimated that more than 20 % of females and above 10 % of males were abused in the period of their childhood. Besides, more than 30 % of offenders are considered to be close relatives of the sexually abused children. Despite the fact that this statistics seems to sound very unpleasant, it actually provides reliable and accurate information (Child Abuse and Neglect by Parents and Other Caregivers, 2013).
Moreover, the effects of sexual abuse are really horrible as they influence the further development of children in a negative way. For example, such consequences of a child sexual abuse as nightmares, self-blame, and durable insomnia are just the beginning of the problem. The most widespread diseases that are the results of sexual abuse of children are as follows: sexual dysfunctions, suicidal behavior, numerous mental disorders, addictions, and even continued anxieties and distresses (Heisler, 2012). Besides, many researchers emphasize that sexually abused children manifest numerous types of abnormal behaviors, including mood swings and eating problems. As a result, sexual abuse stimulates the development of such threatening problems as anorexia and bulimia nervosa that may cause the death of children (Heisler, 2012).
Third type of child abuse is called psychological maltreatment. It is sometimes referred to as emotional abuse of children. Furthermore, this type of action involves numerous negative harmful behaviors including yelling, rude attitude, humiliations, criticism, and even denigration of personality of children. Besides, according to the assumptions of scientists, such things as torture as well as killing animals may be understood as forms of psychological abuse. Emotional abuse may injure self-worth as well as emotional welfare of children (Heisler, 2012).
Finally, the fourth type of a child abuse is called neglect. The concept of neglect is connected with the inability or failure to meet the basic needs and wants of children. It should be stated that neglect involves such inappropriate types of behavior as indifference of parents to in terms of providing food, housing, and clothing to children. Moreover, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every child should have an opportunity to get education. However, many parents in different countries deprive children of the access to education. It should be noted that the effects of parental neglect are very serious. Because of permanent neglect, children may experience large amounts of so-called “delays” in physical and mental development. Besides, children may have problems with memory, language, as well as attention and social skills and abilities (Heisler, 2012).
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Prevention of Child Abuse
Nowadays, child abuse is considered to be a serious problem that has to be solved as soon as possible. While physical form of abuse is usually visible from the very beginning, numerous forms of maltreatment may be revealed too late. It should be stated that all forms of abuses, including neglect of children, usually have very deep and painful consequences. As a result, quick detection and solution of any type of abuse ensures that children have more chances to not only survive, but also develop in a normal way (Paxson & Haskins, 2009). Investigation and learning the most common signs of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of children may save lives of hundreds of innocent children around the globe that do not have enough chances and possibilities to protect themselves (Paxson & Haskins, 2009). At present, there are many different preventive strategies and methods that may decrease the percentage of the abused children. Such factors as high-quality education, public awareness, as well as supportive communities and preventive programs are considered to be the most effective. The government of every country should create numerous sustainable programs that will protect children in the modern society (Paxson & Haskins, 2009).
As a result, having determined and analyzed the notion of a child abuse, its consequences, and major methods of prevention, it is possible to summarize that maltreatment of children is an urgent issue in the modern society that decreases safety and well-being of children. There are numerous ways that can give people a chance to stop this problem. For instance, stable and friendly environments for children, families, and communities can minimize the percentage of the abused children. Our society is responsible for the appropriate development and safety of children as they are our present and, at the same time, our future.