Child abuse or child abuse is physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse or neglect of a child or children, particularly by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse might comprise of any act or failure to act by a parent or by a caregiver that outcomes in real or potential harm to a child, and can happen in a child’s home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with.
Child abuse prevention is considered to be one of the major concerns of the Administration for Children and Families, which has recently received extra funding to make sure of the success of this obligation. In addition to that, Child abuse prevention programs can protect families and save the lives of children but at the same time, they require commitment from parents, individuals, and community organizations.
Types of Child Abuse
The World Health Organization differentiates four types of child maltreatment:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional (Or Psychological) Abuse
The WHO defines physical abuse as Intentional use of physical force against the child that results in – or has a high likelihood of resulting in – harm for the child’s health, survival, development or dignity. This includes hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, strangling, scalding, burning, poisoning and suffocating. Much physical violence against children in the home is inflicted with the object of punishing.
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is basically a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation. Sexual abuse refers to the partaking of a child in a sexual act intended to the physical pleasure or the financial profit of the person who is committing the act.
In addition to that selling, the sexual services of children may be viewed and treated as child abuse rather than simple imprisonment.
Effects of child sexual abuse on the victim(s) consist of guilt and self-blame, flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, -esteem difficulties, sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, suicidal ideation, somatic complaints, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, other mental illnesses including borderline personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder, propensity to re-victimization in adulthood, bulimia nervosa, and physical injury to the child, among other problems.
There are many definitions of child psychological abuse, one of them is”nonaccidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child.” by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) added Child Psychological Abuse to the DSM-5 in 2013.
In the year 2014, the APA stated that:
- “Childhood psychological abuse [is] as harmful as sexual or physical abuse.”
- “Nearly 3 million U.S. children experience some form of [psychological] maltreatment annually.”
- Psychological maltreatment is “the most challenging and prevalent form of child abuse and neglect.”
- “Given the prevalence of childhood psychological abuse and the severity of harm to young victims, it should be at the forefront of mental health and social service training”
Child neglect is basically the failure of a parent or other person with accountability for the child, in order to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, protection or well-being may possibly be threatened with harm.
Neglect is also a lack of attention from the people who are surrounding a child, and the non-provision of the relevant as well as adequate requirements for the child’s survival, which would be a lack of attention, love, and nurturing.
Neglected children might possibly experience delays in physical and psychosocial development, possibly resulting in psychopathology and impaired neuropsychological functions comprising executive function, attention, processing speed, language, memory as well as social skills.
Child Abuse Prevention Protective Factors
Child sexual abuse prevention programs were developed in the United States of America during the 1970s as well as originally delivered to the children. Programs conveyed to parents were developed in the 1980s and after that took the form of one-off meetings, two to three hours long. In the last 15 years, web-based programs have been also developed to prevent child abuse.
Preventing child abuse can be done by addressing parenting. Precisely, the Administration for Children and Families identifies five protective factors for child abuse prevention:
Nurturing And Attachment
It comprises of developing a bond and expressing love between parent and child. Studies, on the other hand, show that affection shapes a baby’s brain and decreases the risk of mental illness. Early positive relationships also help in leading to better grades, social interactions, healthier behaviors and an increased ability to cope with stress in the future.
Parents with connections to the family as well as friends have a support network in order to help them deal with family stressors. Isolated parents, on the other hand, are known to be at greater risk for child abuse and neglect.
It consists of the ability to cope with the stresses of day to day life, as well as the occasional calamity. This flexibility lets the parent deal with stress in a healthy way rather than perhaps put the child in abusive circumstances when stress from raising the child occurs.
Knowledge Of Parenting And Of Child And Youth Development
Parents that have an understanding of the significance of their part in the development of their children are more motivated in order to make a positive environment. Factors that are known to make a positive effect on child development consist of respectful communication and listening, constant rules and expectations and safe chances for independence.
Concrete Supports For Parents
It involves making sure parents have all they need to meet the basic needs like food, shelter, transportation, as well as clothing for their family. Additionally, the ability to access important services, such as healthcare and childcare, decrease stress as well as stop child abuse and neglect.
Ways to Prevent Child Abuse
As per to Prevent Child Abuse America, here are ten things you can do to prevent child abuse:
- You must be a nurturing parent
- Volunteer at a local child abuse prevention program
- Look into parenting resources at your local library and also help develop resources if required
- Help a friend, relative or neighbor
- Get involved in evolving the services that are needed in order to meet the needs of children and families
- Help yourself
- Know what to do if your baby cries
- Encourage child abuse prevention programs at school and educational institutions
- Observe your child’s television as well as video viewing as violent images can harm young children
- Report immediately about any suspected child abuse or child neglect
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