Many a time, it is heard that children have been reported dead over child abuses. One may want to ask how it feels like to be abused. It is an experience no one would ever wish for.

There are people who may have grown up at places where the existence of children is taken for granted. Those who are living victims of shackles of abuses lived with the hope that one day they will be free from the chains of oppression. Even as this hope lingered, they still could not get out of it. How pathetic!

With the revelation from World Health Organization that every year, the world over, approximately 40 million children below the age of 15 are subjected to child abuse and that nearly 53,000 die as a result of these abuses, you wouldn’t help but secretly cry aloud, “what is wrong with these people?”.

Why people derive joy in making others suffer is a question yet to be answered. It is certain that an abuser does not empathise for the abused in anyway, if not, abuse would not stick around.

The abuse of a child is a menace that has been globally condemned. It is the physical, emotional, or sexual harming, ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation of any child by a care-giver. What qualifies to be termed abuse is situational and varies due to divergent cultures. Child abuse is a problem in its own right. It is hinged on a big challenge which is violence. From the maltreatment of children to their deaths, child abuse remains one of the most common tragic crimes against mankind.

How child abuse surfaces – the five reasons

It has been glaring that domestic violence and substance abuse are the two major causes of child maltreatment in most homes. One thing that cannot be disputed is the fact that when children grow up in homes where men abuse their wives for instance, there is always the tendency that such men would surely end up abusing their children. This act is not far from the influence of unguarded anger and transferred aggression.

There are children who are still under bondage. Now, if you say children under the care of nannies are being maltreated and those involved should be brought to book, what about the parents who abuse their own children? The natural question would be “why did you give birth to your children if you knew you would abuse them?”

If those who abuse children are studied closely, it would be discovered that traits like immaturity, unrealistic expectations, emotional problems, lack of parenting knowledge, difficulty in relationships are some of the reasons why abusers embark on such heinous act.

Presently, socio-economic disadvantage, social isolation, living in dangerous neighborhoods, large families, a caregiver with depression or alcohol or drug addiction, and whether the child has a disability have been discovered to be some of the reasons why an abuse and neglect of a child would keep existing in our society.

How does this abuse affect the child?

Investigating the causes and effects of child abuse shows that children that are abused are likely to become abusers and their natural trust and love are distorted because they had been abused. Therefore, owing to the pains they have been through, they become courageous and resort to hate and vengeance. This vengeance has the likelihood to proliferate the risk of more damaging and severe consequences for children and young people who experience habitual and various kinds of abuses.

The abuse of a child bedevils his or her psyche for life and until both the abused and the abuser come out to reveal and confess the abuses respectively, there cannot be genuinely viable solutions. When these abuses occur, the child is left in an emotional loss as well. They may resort to self-injurious behaviours owing to low self-esteem and psychological depression. Personal relationship with people becomes a major problem in the long run.

What the government should do

In the light of all these abuses, if certain policies are enacted to promote social, economic and cultural rights, reduce gender and income inequalities, alleviate poverty, and then strengthen the police and judicial systems to translate the convention of the rights of children to be included in constitutions, child abuse would be minimized and by extension, prevented.

The parental approach

Apart from these, at the family level according to Tennyson Centre for Children, everyone needs to get involved with other parents in communities in order to help vulnerable children and their families. Every parent needs to discipline the child thoughtfully and not when he or she is upset. Examine your own behavior and endeavour to educate yourself and others on the rights of children.

Ask people around to help report any suspected abuses because the victims themselves may not be able to confidently speak up. If that Ugandan nanny could have the guts to want to crush the spine and ribs of a less than two year old toddler, she could have as well slaughtered her.

The most hurting part is the fact that a child is forbidden from talking about this reality of his or her experience to an outsider; and because such family is a troubled family, violence and neglect are cultured amongst members of the family.

However, it is undisputable that caring for a child generally is a difficult task especially to young parents but no one should subscribe to the idea of maltreating a child based on the flimsy excuse that ‘raising a child is tasking’. The biblical allusion: Spare the rod and spoil the child” has also become a backdrop to abuse a child.

On this note, it is ideal to join hands together to put an end to this act against children in order for the ones that have the slightest inclination to break loose not to go wayward.

The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Naijtimes.com.

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