How to recognise, prevent and report child abuse and ill-treatment
Every day children become the victims of abuse and violence. Violence towards a child is wider than bruises and broken bones. While physical violence is most evident, and the rest, such as emotional abuse or neglect of the child, also leave deep scars affecting later life. The childhood abuse may produce consequences in children of various short-entities, but also in the long term. Research has confirmed the significant relationship between child abuse and depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, dissociative disorders, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. The earlier the child is assisted, the act of abuse and mistreatment, unjust punishments and bullying are committed, the greater the chance that he will heal and break the vicious circle and they live a problem of deformation of feelings of trust in themselves and in others and in the expression of empathic emotions.
By knowing the common signs of child abuse and violence, its extent and how to intervene, you will be able to change the life of the child. Physical violence is shocking because of the scars that remain after, not all types of violence against the child are so obvious. Ignoring the child’s needs, lack of supervision over the child, leaving him in a dangerous situation or forming a sense of worthlessness and intellectual insolvency in the child is also a form of child abuse. Regardless of the type of violence against the child, the result is serious emotional damage.
Sexual violence against children is a serious violation of the rights of the child. Yet it is a global reality across all countries and social groups. They take the form of sexual abuse, harassment, rape or sexual exploitation in prostitution or pornography. They can occur at home, in institutions, at school, at the workplace, during travel and tourism, in communities – both in developing countries and in emergency contexts. Increasingly, the Internet and mobile phones are also placing children at risk of sexual violence while adults use the Internet to have sex with children. The circulation of images of sexual abuse against children is also increasing in number.
It is not easy to discover the discomfort of those who suffer harassment because once children who have been the victim of child abuse or any violation are more likely to be afraid from the vicious circle when they become adults, unconsciously reproducing what they experienced in childhood. Do not turn a blind eye, otherwise, we are just as guilty as those that consign these dreadful acts. The kids are innocent and are totally dependent on adults for their comfort and protection, and to keep them safe from any harm.
Violence against children does not only occur in poor families or in bad neighbourhoods. It does not depend on race, economic conditions, or culture. Sometimes families who have everything when viewed from the outside, hide dark stories on the inside.
To prevent and combat these violence acts, the different sectors of government – justice, social welfare, education and health – as well as legislators and civil society community leaders, religious groups, the private sector, the media, families, and children themselves should engage to strengthen child protection systems at national and local levels. Also, the awareness programmes for kids and parents must be broadcasted to educate them about these volurious acts in our society.