Child Molestation, Causes and Effects.
Child Molestation, Causes and Effects.
Child Molestation/abuse is one of major problem faced by many children around the world and its take the attention of all nations. Children can be abused by different people like parents, strangers, members of their family, teachers and other children at school or in the community. Regardless of who the abusers are, causes and effects are all the same.
Child abuse can be categorized into four types: physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Each type has different causes and different effects on a child’s life and on the community. The causes can be due to poverty, family stress, abuse of substances (drugs, alcohol …) and psychological problems.
The effects however depends on the type of the cause and it can be divided into three categories which can be seen in the individual and reflect in the community. These are Emotional effects, physical effects and behavioral effects. Treatment of child abuse after the recognition of the causes and its effect is important and before that the prevention or stopping it is the chief of all. There are several clear steps everybody especially the family need or must to follow it.
A child is defined as “Every human being below the age of 18 years. Barent & Barnet stated , “Much as we might like to believe otherwise, child abuse is wide-spread”. Moreover, some child development experts simply define child abuse as any “act which fails to take care of the children. At present the rate of child abuse incidents increased rapidly and continuing and each child around the world in spite of his /her age, sex, race and religion can fall victim for abuse from the strangers or from member of his/her family.
Child Abuse can happen because of poverty, family stress, abuse of substances (drugs, alcohol …) and psychological problems. Child abuses have different forms. It can be physical, emotional , sexual abuse and neglect. The abusers can be from family or a stranger and those are selected to express their difficulties or problems on the helpless children who are unable to defend themselves. The effects of any types of abuse whatsoever the cause, is severe and various according to the form of abuse. It can be seen on the child, family and community.
Causes of Child abuse
There are several causes of child abuse. First cause is poverty. It happens when the family does not have the resources to provide or to meet the need of their family members especially children. In some poor countries, number of families tends to sell their children to rich people and some they make them to work at very young age or they just leave them carelessly because they are unable to meet their needs.
Family problems is another cause of child abuse, it can be due to divorce so the child will be separated from the family and because of that a lot of problems arise such as both parents asking for their right to take the child. Moreover, child abuse mostly occur in many families with abused parents therefore reflecting that on their children. Some of the parents are young and they don’t know how to deal with difficulties that they face when taking care of a child.
Another cause of child abuse is as a result of substance intake which make them unaware of themselves or others around them. Substance abuse is becoming one of the main reasons for the increase in number of child abuse around the world. Research shows that parents with history of substance abuse, most commonly alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, were more likely to abuse their children. This substance can leads to developing abnormal behaviors by the abuser either they are from family or strangers.
Child abuse can also be psychological. Parents who do not have a support community of close friends or relatives living nearby may feel isolated. Some of the family members who are suffering from mental disorders tend to harm the child without knowing.
Forms of child abuse
Child abuse can take different forms physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect as mentioned previously. Physical abuse includes scalding, beating or severe physical punishment and it is easiest to identify the dangers of physical abuse. Sexual abuse includes sexual assault, fondling of genital areas, and exposure to indecent acts or involvement in sexual pornography in the net or in some television channels. Sexual abusers steal from a child their childhood. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse and unfair criticism, terrorizing acts, and lack of nurturance or emotional support. Child neglect can take on a number of different forms. For instance a child’s nutritional needs can be ignored, resulting in a deficient diet and, in turn, a “failure to thrive.” This type of neglect is not necessarily done purposely and it may result because parents have lack of knowledge regarding a healthy diet or from poverty. Physical neglect results when a child is not provided with shelter and clothing. Neglect can also come in the form of inadequate medical care, lack of proper supervision, and lack of educational opportunities. Finally, neglect also includes inadequate emotional care, where a child experiences a continuous lack of response to his or her crying or any other behavior in need of a response.
Effects of Child Abuse
Based on the above child abuse with its various forms and causes it has several effects too. It can be short, and others are lifelong so it differs according to the severity of the abuse and its type. Children with a history of abuse are at risk of developing psychiatric problems. The effects of child abuse can be divided into three categories which can be seen in the individual and reflect in the community. These are Emotional effects, physical effects and behavioral. Starting with emotional effects which include low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, bad dreams; bed wetting, difficulties in building relationship, isolation, and personality disorders. Physical effects include life threatening injuries, death, lifelong health problems, difficulties in understanding, and physical disabilities. Finally, Behavioral effects that include problems in school the progress of mental development , criminal behavior, pregnancy of girls in small age, suicide attempts, substance abuse, aggressive behavior, abuse others and anger.
In conclusion, it is clear that child abuse is a global problem. It occurs due to several causes which can be financial stress and poverty, adult use of alcohol and other drugs, parents are not having basic knowledge of child care and development. In addition adults can abuse children in different ways for example physically, emotionally, sexually and by neglect. So it is important or must be aware of the signs which may leads to abuse and detect it. These characteristic can appear in:
- Families who are isolated and not involve with the community.
- Parents who are having history of abuse as children.
- Families who are most of the time facing money problems.
- Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol so they become impairment caused by being intoxicated.
- Parents who are very inflexible in disciplining their child.
- Parents who show too much or too little concern for their child.
- Parents who feel they have a difficult child.
- Parents who are under a lot of stress
The effect of these problems are found in the child and then in the community as a result. The effects on a child depends on the degree of the abuse is, the greater the abuse, the greater the effect on the child. Abused children also exhibit conditions like difficulty in building up relationships with others so he/she will be isolated from community. A feeling of guilt and anger can be develop and may become abuser him/herself later in adult stage.
It is clear that child abuse regardless of its cause leaves more than just bruises or words; it is a matter which needs a greatest attention since it involves the future generation of the world. Not only they will suffer from the physical and mental abuse, they suffer many long-term effects, including delays in developmental, refusal to attend school, separation from community and anxiety disorders. Even though, child abuse is still continuing and complex problem with many causes, we should not build a negative
attitude toward its prevention. Therefore everybody responsible in stopping child abuse by reducing if not eliminating the causes should do so. Around the world there are many agencies with different program trying their best to stop it. This can be done by adapting several plans for example:
- Preventing and treat individual with substance abuse
- Parents listening to their children and talk with them.
- Educating new parents on the parenting skills since Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams.
- Stopping child abuse when seeing it.
- Teaching the child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable touching, and to trust their instincts about people.
- Educating the parents about the signs of abuse so it will be easy to detect it.
Children are an important element in any community; they desire a maximum love and care should be given to them without any restrictions. They deserve a healthy, save childhood and the opportunity to grow up normally and become a responsible adult able to serve and build up a healthy community. We all should protect them and guide them in the right direction.