I read somewhere that the month of April is the month of "awareness on child abuse". I dont know who decides what month stands for what or maybe it is justa case of someone saying this month will be so and so and gathering all her friends on blogger, facebook, twitter and other networks to put out the word. Anyways, since I heard that, it really got me thinking about how children are abused today or how the society terms abuse these days. This is not to say that children are not abused or to take this topic lightly because that is not the case at all. There are really some horrific stories of cases of abuse out there and we all pray that it doesnt happen to our kids or anyone we know but then how do we ensure this doesnt really happen? That is why people really have to know what child abuse is and how to put out the word.
Children can be abused Physically, Sexually, Emotionally Mistreated and or Neglected. There is no need looking out to say the child can only be abused outside the home cos most child abuse cases happen in the home.
As I said, hearing that it is important that we put out the word on child abuse got me thinking how sometimes I am also guilty of abusing my own kids. Yeah, yeah I am all for not spanking the kids especially in frustration, but just a few days ago I gave Oke a sharp pat on her bum in a lavatory of an airplane cos she had worn my patience thin. When it happened I tried to justify my action by saying she was just being naughty and I was trying to put her back in line so she knows not to repeat it, but deep down, I knew I had done wrong. For crying out loud she is just 2.5 years old; she woke up early for the flight and she must have just been as cranky as I was and the only way she culd express it was in what I viewed as "being naughty". Hitting, Punching,Striking, Kicking, Physical aggression, pulling of ears, Slapping, Konking are all forms of physical abuse on the child. This is wrong and should be stopped. Child Abuse must stop.
When I was growing up I had this funny laugh, everyone in my house called me a monkey.I probably laughed like one too. Nobody in my house saw it like a case of child abuse, cos it was just a joke. But deep down i didnt feel good about being called a monkey, so for a while I stopped really laughing, so I wont be called a monkey even by outsiders. It took a lot of work to build back my self esteem and love for myself.
Name calling, Excessive Criticism and Ridicule are all forms of Emotional Abuse. This is Child abuse and must stop.
The most popular type of child abuse we have in our society today is Neglect. Child Neglect is not only when the child lacks food, clothing,shelter,education and/or medical. It is also when the child doesnt experience affection, or when the child is brought up in an enviroment where there is spousal abuse or parental substance abuse. This is Child Abuse and must stop
The scariest of them all *at least to me* is the sexual abuse. The extent to which children can be abused sexually are almost limitless. This includes but not limited to sexual contact against the child, indecent exposure of the genitals to the child, showing the child pornography,viewing of the child genitals, using the child for pornography.
Child Abuse must stop, hence the awareness cos most times the effect of child abuse might not be so obvious except in the case of physical abuse. So even as we put out the word that child abuse must stop, we must also do our homework to protect our kids from abuse. We should watch those who come into our homes as relatives or workers and the way they relate with the kids cos the stories of "uncles" , "houseboys" and housegirls abound.