Child Abuse and its Implications


Anuradha M.V.
Department of Management Studies
Global Academy of Technology

Child: Meaning A person between birth and puberty.

A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority, of the law of the land that he is bound by.

Child sexual abuse has gained public attention in the past few decades and has become one of the most high-profile crimes. Since the 1970s the sexual abuse of children and child molestation has increasingly been recognized as deeply damaging to children and thus unacceptable for society as a whole. While sexual use of children by adults has been present throughout history, it has only become the object of significant public attention in recent times.

There is no universal definition of child abuse.  The central characteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him/her to force a child into sexual activity, but however child abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact but could include non- contact abuse also.

Child abuse" can be defined as causing or permitting any harmful or offensive contact on a child's body; and, any communication or transaction of any kind which humiliates, shames, or frightens the child. Some child development experts go a bit further, and define child abuse as any act or omission, which fails to nurture or in the upbringing of the children. Most child abuse occurs in a child's home, with a smaller amount occurring in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with.  The impact of abuse ranges from apparently no effect to very severe one.

Accurate statistics on the prevalance of child and adoloscent abuse are difficult to collect because of problems of underreporting and lack of definition.

There are four major categories of child abuse: Neglect, Physical abuse, Psychological/Emotional abuse, and Child Sexual abuse.

Neglect: The failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heat or coats). It may include abandonment. Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, never attending to the child, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse including allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.

Physical Abuse: The inflicting of physical injury upon a child. This may include, burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking, beating, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, the injury is not an accident. It may, however, been the result of over-discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child's age.

Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of CSA include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child's genitals, viewing of the child's genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography.

Victims of abuse

Children and adoloscent, irrespective of their race, culture or economic status appear to be at equal risk for vicimization. Statistics has shown that girls are abused more often than boys, but however boys have a tendency not to report their vicitimization , which often affect these statistics.

Perpetrators of child abuse 

Various  studies and  researches  have pointed as to who commit the most commonest of child abuse that is Sexual abuse vary in their finding, but the most common finding is that the majority of sexual offenders are family members or are otherwise known to the child, the best example that can be given is that of John Fitzgrl of Australia who confined his biologically born daughter underground committed the most henious crime of incest  for 22 yrs and fathering 7 kids from this dirty and henious act. Research shows that men perpetrate most instances of sexual abuse, but there are cases in which women are the offenders.

Effects of child sexual abuse

The effects may range of psychological and behavioural  problems, from mild to severe in both short and long term.  These problems include depression, anxiety,guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, acting out.  The initiaal effects of abuse usually occur within 2 yrs of the termination of the abuse.  These effects vary depending upon the circumstances of abuse and the childs developmental status but may incluse regressive behaviour return to thumb sucking or bed wetting, sleep disturbances, eating problems behaviour or performance problems at school and social activities.

The negative effects of child sexual abuse can effect the victim for many years.  Adults who are sexually abused as children commonly experience depression, anxiety attacks drug abuse, alcoholism and sleep disturbances.

Results has shown that victims of  child abuse are likely to be revictimised and may be victims of rape or physical assault.

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

1. Develop strong communication skills with your children encourage them to ask questions or talk about their experiencs.  Explain the importance of reporting abuse to you or to another trusted adult.

2. Instruct your child never to get into a car with any one without your permission

3. Sex education teach children that no one should touch the private parts of their body.  A health professional can help to communicate sex education to children if parents are uncomfortable doing so.

4. Teach children that their bodies are their own .  Give them the confidence to assert themselves against any adult who attempts to abuse them

5. Train children in life skills such as self awareness interpersonal relationship communication critical and creative thinking problem solving decision making etc


Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible sign, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse or child neglect, also leave deep, long lasting scars. Some signs of child abuse are subtler than others. However, by learning common types of abuse and what you can do, you can make a huge difference in a child's life. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal from their abuse and not perpetuate the cycle. Learn the signs and symptoms of child abuse and help break the cycle, finding out where to get help for the children and their caregivers.,  be loving and kind  make an effort to know what pain they are undergoing and give soothing and compassionate words.


Medical Journals

Anuradha M.V.
Department of Management Studies
Global Academy of Technology

Source: E-mail June 8, 2010


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