Child Abuse Check – :::…The Tide News Online :::…
Nearly 3 out of 4 children, or 300 million children aged 2 to 4, regularly experience physical punishment or emotional abuse from parents and caregivers.
One in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report having been sexually abused in childhood between the ages of 0 and 17.
Subsequently, 120 million girls and young women under the age of 20 experienced some form of forced sexual contact.
Some consequences of child abuse include impaired physical and mental health throughout life, and social and occupational outcomes can ultimately slow a country’s economic and social development.
Child abuse is often hidden. Only a fraction of child abuse victims receive support from health professionals.
An abused child is more likely to abuse others as an adult, so the abuse is passed down from generation to generation. It is therefore essential to break this cycle of violence and, in doing so, create positive multigenerational impacts.
Preventing child abuse before it starts is possible and requires a multisectoral approach.
Effective prevention approaches include supporting parents and teaching positive parenting skills, and improving laws to prohibit violent punishment.
Ongoing care for children and families can reduce the risk of recurrence of abuse and minimize its consequences.
Child abuse is the abuse and neglect of children under the age of 18. It includes all types of physical or emotional mistreatment, sexual abuse, neglect, neglect and commercial or other exploitation, which results in actual or potential harm to health, survival, development or the dignity of the child in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.
Child abuse is a global problem with serious lifelong consequences. Despite recent national surveys in several low- and middle-income countries, data from many countries are still lacking.
Child abuse is complex and difficult to study. Current estimates vary widely depending on the country and the research method used.
International studies reveal that nearly 3 in 4 children aged 2 to 4 years old regularly experience physical punishment or psychological abuse from their parents and guardians, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report having been sexually abused. in their childhood.
Every year, an estimated 40,150 homicide deaths among children under the age of 18 are estimated, some of which are likely due to child abuse. This figure almost certainly underestimates the true extent of the problem, since a significant proportion of deaths from child maltreatment are wrongly attributed to falls, burns, drowning and other causes.
In armed conflict and refugee situations, girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, exploitation and abuse by combatants, security forces, members of their communities, humanitarian workers and others.
Child abuse often has serious short- and long-term physical, sexual and mental health consequences. These include injury, including head trauma and severe disability, especially in young children; post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Teenage girls may face additional health issues, including gynecological disorders and unwanted pregnancies. Child maltreatment can affect cognitive and academic performance and is strongly associated with alcohol and drug abuse and smoking – major risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Abuse causes stress that is associated with impaired early brain development. Extreme stress can impair the development of the nervous and immune systems. Therefore, in adulthood, abused children are at increased risk for behavioral, physical and mental health problems such as: committing or being a victim of violence, depression, smoking, obesity, risky sexual behaviors, unwanted pregnancy , alcohol and drug abuse.
Violence against children also contributes to inequalities in education. Children who experienced any form of childhood abuse are 13% more likely to not complete school.
Beyond the health, social and educational consequences of child abuse, there is an economic impact, including costs of hospitalization, mental health treatment, child protection and healthcare costs to longer term.
It is important to emphasize that children are the victims and are never to blame for abuse. Characteristics of an individual child that may increase the likelihood of being abused include: being under the age of four or an unwanted teenager, or failing to meet parental expectations by having special needs, constantly crying or having abnormal physical characteristics having an intellectual disability disability or neurological disorder
identifying or being identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Characteristics of a parent or caregiver that may increase the risk of child maltreatment include: difficulty bonding with a newborn and not caring for the child having been maltreated even in childhood not being aware of child development or having unrealistic expectations abusing alcohol or drugs, including during pregnancy, having low self-esteem, suffering from poor impulse control, having a mental or neurological disorder, being involved in criminal activities and experiencing financial difficulties.
Relationships within families or between intimate partners, friends and peers that may increase the risk of child maltreatment include: family breakdown or violence between other family members isolation in the community or lack of a support network or a breakdown in child-rearing support from the extended family.
In addition, communities and societies can increase the risk of child abuse due to social and gender inequalities; lack of adequate housing or services to support families and institutions; high levels of unemployment or poverty;
ease of access to alcohol and drugs; inadequate policies and programs to prevent child abuse, child pornography, child prostitution and child labour;
social and cultural norms that promote or glorify violence against others, support the use of corporal punishment, demand rigid gender roles, or diminish the status of the child in parent-child relationships; social, economic, health and education policies that lead to poor living standards, or socio-economic inequality or instability.
Effective and promising interventions include support for parents and caregivers: information and skill-building sessions to support the development of caring, non-violent parenting delivered by trained nurses, social workers or lay workers through a series of home visits or in a community setting. Also, it is very important to use education and life skills approaches through children.
Sexual abuse prevention programs that raise awareness and teach skills to help children and adolescents understand consent, avoid and prevent sexual abuse and exploitation, and seek help and support are also required.
Interventions to create a positive school climate and violence-free environment, and to strengthen relationships between students, teachers, and administrators are appropriate.
However, to maximize the effects of prevention and care, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that interventions be delivered through a four-step public health approach: define the problem; identify causes and risk factors; second, to design and test interventions aimed at minimizing risk factors; disseminate information on the effectiveness of interventions and increase the scale of interventions with proven effectiveness.
Meanwhile, WHO, in collaboration with partners, is providing guidance for evidence-based child abuse prevention strategies to end violence against children.
Provides evidence-based guidance to help front-line health care providers recognize children who have suffered abuse and neglect and provide evidence-based front-line support.
For increased international support and investment in evidence-based child abuse prevention; they advocate for and provide technical support to evidence-based child maltreatment prevention programs in several low- and middle-income countries.
By: Ibinabo Ogolo