This is something that is Taboo but still, everybody knows about it. That’s not because it has many awareness campaigns or because Child Abuse Ed programs hold in every institution, but sadly, the awareness is because of the ‘frequent incidences’ that have occurred during the past years.
What is Child Abuse?
Does it mean mental abuse? What are the degrees of child abuse happening in our society? Does this word strictly mean physically thrashing the child? Does it mean sexual abuse? Sadly, most of the so-called adults think that ONLY physical abuse comes under the definition of child abuse. It may shock you to know that child abuse is also about exposing inappropriate pictures and exposing the child to inappropriate sexual talk at a very young age.
There is truth in the saying that ‘A child’s mind is like a canvas; you can paint whatever picture you want.’
You know what they say RIGHT… but WE as a society don’t consider it at all.
The purpose of writing this is not to create the awareness about child abuse in our society. It is because I know that despite the detailed information and the evidence available, YOU – the people reading this, would not even bother to take action. You wouldn’t bother to see if, God forbid, your child is going through the same trauma.
On the other hand, you would be reading it as an article and then moving forward.
Writing this article is mainly to EDUCATE you – the ADULTS, not the child! It is to educate YOU as PARENT, GUARDIAN, or CARETAKER of a child.
First, one should understand that our children are smart and bold, but still NOT bold enough to tell you confidently if someone is doing wrong or abusive towards them. A child thinks that him or her herself i.e., the abused is going to be scolded or punished as if he or she has done something terrible; instead of the abuser because the abuser is the adult.
We should understand few things about our child and about child abuse.
First, be clear about what child abuse is.
Child abuse is the act done by the parent, guardian, teacher, Molvi Sahib, priest, Pandit, and caregiver who can be a relative, family friend or someone you know. It can be anyone with whom your child feels okay to be around.
The act of child abuse is not only about the physical abuse, but it also includes sexual abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, insult, or even hitting child for one’s pleasure. You would be astonished to know this, but this “ACT” can be done anywhere … at home, at school, at any institution where you child is going, that means ANYWHERE!
That is ALARMING, isn’t it?
Cases show that the children who have been a victim of child abuse go through serious and lasting harm on their minds and lives. The damage caused always lasts a very long time in life and is almost irremovable and incurable.
We should understand that a child is innocent. Exposing him or her to adult content, adult videos clips, or practicing them on the child will cause mental pain and destroy the child’s mind and personality for life. You as his or her guardian will see an obvious change in your child. The question here is, are you taking that time out of your busy schedule to notice these changes? Are you paying attention to what your child is going through while you are gone?
What Changes in the Child?
The changes that child abuse causes could include the following:
- The child would tell you that he or she doesn’t like or hates a particular person (It can be an uncle, tuition teacher, Molvi Sahib, priest, or pundit, or anyone…). When asked for the reason, the child would be unable to explain or give any reason for that.
- Your child would be reluctant to meet that particular person.
- The child would avoid the particular person.
- Your child might start misbehaving with that person.
- The child would feel scared when he or she sees that particular person coming in house.
- Your child would not like if that particular person got or tries to get friendly with him or her.
There can be many signs … I can’t write all of the signs here but what is obvious is the CHANGE you would notice in your child’s behavior.
What SHOULD you do?
For all the signs mentioned above you don’t have to take many measures, you just have to do a couple of things:
- LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD CAREFULLY AND WITH FULL ATTENTION
- BELIEVE HIM OR HER AND SHOW CONFIDENCE IN HIM OR HER
Through these two ways, you would be able to give your child confidence that he or she need in order to trust you and to be able to tell you anything.
By that way, just so you’d think about this… you can protect your child from the abuser. And you can make your child ready to say NO if he or she feels inappropriate touching or actions from ANYBODY.
What should you do with an abuser? What could bring your child’s confidence back?
The answer simple!
MEET THE ABUSER IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL THE FAMILY MEMBERS.
The act of meeting the person face-to-face will bring the abuser’s real face forward. You should tell the abuser that everyone knows about the bad actions he has been doing with the child. No one will tolerate the ‘abuser’ for this nor respected in the family.
That way, the abuser would feel ashamed of his action and child would feel secure. The child will know that his parents/guardian believed him or her and that he or she is safe.
Sadly, it happens in many societies in the world but doesn’t come out into the open. People generally think that the abuser is a respectable member of a family and he or she cannot do such a shameful act. This is what the abuses exploits and makes the child seem like a liar.
The child loses confidence and as a result, the abuser feels strong and continues abusing the child. The abuser threatens to kill the child, kill the child’s sibling, or parent if the child tells anyone about it. Because no one believes the child, the abuser puts pressure on the child and the abusing lasts for several years.
If you take cases of the victims of child abuse, you will realize that those victims face many difficulties in life. It takes them several years to get their confidence back. Those victims keep a distance from their families because their families don’t support them, trust them, or protect them when they were being victims of child abuse.
I am sure you would want to know about specific victims and cases of child abuse, but what is the use of knowing about them and their cases? The focus should be on the future of our children… future of YOUR CHILD.
I insist, BE CLOSE TO YOUR CHILD because he or she is not safe not even from a favorite teacher or uncle, or religious figure!
Guest Blog Author
Farzana Zahid is a part-time writer with a special interest in anti-child-abuse protests. She uses her writing talent to spread the message across with the hope of educating people about it. She writes for us at Lifestyle Glitz with the mission to raise awareness and to create a safer society for children worldwide.
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