Child abuse has become one of the most urgent problems of modern society. Now we know more about this issue, but it does not solve the problem. There are so many essays about child abuse that help to understand what it is. But often they are quite extensive. So we tried to gather all the necessary information in one argumentative essay on child abuse and systematized it so that it is easy to read and comprehend. So what child abuse is, what its forms are, what ways of protection and prevention are. The answers to these and other questions are in our essay.
- One quarter of all adults reports that as a child they were subjected to physical violence.
- One in 5 women and 1 in 13men confess that being a child they were subjected to sexual abuse.
- Consequences of child abuse include lifelong physical and mental health problems, and its consequences in social and professional spheres may eventually slow down economic and social development of the country.
Child abuse can be prevented. For this purpose we need multisectoral approach.
With the help of effective prevention programs a state my support parents, teach and develop positive parenting skills.
Continuous care for children and families can help to reduce the risk of repeated abuse and minimize its consequences.
Child abuse is an ill treatment of children who are under the age of 18 years and absence of care about them. It covers all the types of physical and/or emotional abuse, sexual violence, neglect, disregard and exploitation for commercial or other purposes that leads to actual or potential damage of health, survival, development or child’s dignity in the context of the interrelation of responsibility, trust or power. Sometimes violence by an intimate partner is also considered a form of a child abuse.
Domestic child abuse: causes
The main reasons of child abuse are social. Especially it concerns physical and sexual types of violence that are often practiced in families where family members are not used to reckon with the norms of ethics and morality.
Here is an approximate list of factors that usually cause child abuse:
- incomplete, low-income families;
- families where one of the parents is not blood relative to a child (stepfather or stepmother);
- parents do not have fixed place of work;
- criminal past of the parents or other adult family members;
- alcohol or drug addiction of one or both parents;
- child’s psychological, mental or physical and so on abnormalities.
High-risk group includes families that combine several factors at the same time, and in real life it is a common thing: it is hard to find a family of alcoholics or drug addicts that have stable income and high moral values.
Unfortunately outer well-being does not always mean that family members respect each other. Very often educated people abuse, especially psychologically, their children and what is worse they see nothing wrong or unnatural in their actions.
Child abuse in a family: forms
The category of “child abuse” includes any form of violence against the child by the parents or those on whom their functions assigned by law (for example, trustees, orphanage educators, etc.), and also other adult family members. Herewith it is not necessarily expressed in physical punishment or sexual harassment. Psychological abuse is not less dangerous at all.
Prohibition of child abuse is legally secured on the international level: Article 19 of the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” obliges all participating countries to take all possible measures to protect children from all forms of violence.
Beatings (both single and systematic), infliction of bodily harm, any other physical impact on the child, as well as deliberate deprivation of food, water and the possibility to satisfy natural needs, other kinds of abuse and torture, all this qualifies as abuse, regardless of the severity of the impact, which influences the measure of responsibility only.
It refers to harassment wit sexual background, involvement of a child in different sexual actions, demonstration of genitals, or any pornographic works (illustrations, books, movies, videos and so on).
It is important: a child under the age of 16 has a total sexual inviolability. That is why if a child agrees to take part in such actions it does not mean that these actions do not have violent component. Due to the age and characteristics of the psyche children and teenagers are not able to realize the unacceptability of such behavior towards them, and the degree of caused harm.
Emotional (psychological) abuse
This kind of child abuse is the most difficult to be proved. At the same time it is the most common form of abuse in a family. Especially it applies to the families with low cultural level. Psychological abuse can have the following forms:
- telling threats to a child (as well as in a form of intimidation, for example, a threat of beatings in case of disobeying, failure to comply with parents, underachievement etc.);
- offence, humiliation (name-calling, rough criticism and so on.);
- demonstration of neglect to a child, his or hers needs and interests (including restriction of child communication with peers without any reason, refuse to provide conditions for the child’s development and so on).
It seems that the consequences of psychological abuse are less harmful than of physical or sexual violence. However psychological abuse often causes formation of pathological and other negative traits of character, changes in the value system, socialization difficulties.
Psychological child abuse
The danger of child psychological violence is often doubted. But its consequences can be global and sometimes irreversible:
- the formation of a child's negative life attitudes;
- mental and/or speech retardation;
- difficulties in adaption to social life and decline of communication skills;
- low learning abilities;
- loss of respect for parents;
- pathological mental changes that are hard to correct.
All this almost definitely results complete or partial desocialization, the signs of which become more and more obvious as the child grows up. As a result attempts to assert themselves often lead to disastrous results, such as criminalization, alcoholism, drug addiction and others.
Besides, a child who grow up in an atmosphere of continuous pressure and violence (of any kind) treats such a model of parental behavior as the norm and consequently uses it in his own family.
Child abuse protection: helpline, appeal to special services
Every more or less big city has hotline that deals with children rights protection. Hotline phone number everyone can easily find on the Internet. But the problem is that not all children have access to a global network, especially those who live in dysfunctional families.
In addition statistics show that low cultural level and consequently child abuse are more common among the citizens of small cities and towns, where helpline is a rare phenomenon.
In this case the most optimal way of child abuse protection is an appeal to the guardianship authorities and to the inspection of juvenile. It can be an abused child’s initiative as well as someone else’s initiative, who is indifferent to the child’s life.
Despite the common belief it is possible to prove that a child is abused, even if the child refuses to admit this. medical examination, signs of beating, neighbours’ reports etc. can be enough to take legal actions towards parents.
It is more difficult to prove psychological abuse, but there are also ways to prove it. For example, pathological changes in emotional state are strong basis for inspection by representatives of the guardianship authorities.
Prevention of child abuse
Another not less important duty of guardianship authorities is child abuse prevention. There are special programs and instructions that include the following measures:
- identification of dysfunctional families and families with low income (usually in cooperation with police);
- preventive conversations with parents at-risk;
- control infants’ visits to educational institutions appropriate to their age and development;
- organization of cooperation with pediatricians and representatives of educational institutions;
- monitoring of applications on missing children received by the police;
- employment assistance to members of low-income families and organization of their treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.
This list is not complete, but the main principles of the guardianship authorities operation are individual approach and compliance with the law.
Children often can not protect themselves, that is why they need our help, support and protection. I hope this child abuse argumentative essay helped you to realize how much important children protection is.
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10 Things You Can Do To Prevent Child Abuse
- Volunteer your time. Get involved with other parents in your community. Help vulnerable children and their families. Start a playgroup.
- Discipline your children thoughtfully. Never discipline your child when you are upset. Give yourself time to calm down. Remember that discipline is a way to teach your child. Use privileges to encourage good behavior and time-outs to help your child regain control.
- Examine your behavior. Abuse is not just physical. Both words and actions can inflict deep, lasting wounds. Be a nurturing parent. Use your actions to show children and other adults that conflicts can be settled without hitting or yelling.
- Educate yourself and others. Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent child abuse. After-school activities, parent education classes, mentoring programs, and respite care are some of the many ways to keep children safe from harm. Be a voice in support of these efforts in your community.
- Teach children their rights. When children are taught they are special and have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender.
- Support prevention programs. Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse is reported. Greater investments are needed in programs that have been proven to stop the abuse before it occurs - such as family counseling and home visits by nurses who provide assistance for newborns and their parents.
- Know what child abuse is. Physical and sexual abuse clearly constitute maltreatment, but so does neglect, or the failure of parents or other caregivers to provide a child with needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated.
- Know the signs. Unexplained injuries aren't the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.
- Report abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state's child protective services department or local police. When talking to a child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that he or she is not responsible for what happened.
- Invest in kids. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families. Ask employers to provide family-friendly work environments. Ask your local and national lawmakers to support legislation to better protect our children and to improve their lives.