Has child abuse ended?

Views from Srinagar

Sameer Ganaie

In my childhood, it was never fun to go to school. Every morning our teachers had beating practice, where they ruthlessly beat children with their hands or sticks for one reason or the other.
It was more a third degree torture center than a learning place or a teaching place. One of the most surprising and even the worst part of it was that our parents either would not care or would not dare to represent us in school even if we showed them the stains on our body.
Thankfully, things have changed now.
People have now began to realize the difference between a student and a criminal, difference in teaching and beating. People, which include both the teachers and parents have worked forward to put an end of child abuse.
Corporal punishment has been banned and thus children are not being beaten in schools. Child abuse has come to an end. But does it actually happen? Have child abuse came to an end?
According to World Health Organization (WHO), child abuse includes all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.
This concludes that there are at least four types of child abuses or maltreatments. They are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, and child negligence.
So, what if corporal punishment has been banned in schools, are children safe in schools?
Keeping an eye on reports of recent happening like sexual assault or even brutal murder of children inside school premises clearly explain that children are nowhere safe either in schools or educational institutions.
Leave aside schools, since psychologically and emotionally a child can be abused, what about those parents who force their children to take up studies of their choice, and torture them mentally to gain higher grades in exams, since emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that certainly causes damage over time. Doesn’t it equate to child abuse and maltreatment?
We can’t ignore child negligence as a main reason of child abuse, when parents and caretakers even forget to pick up their children from schools, doesn’t even consider child care as their duty, child abuse is more likely and certainly to happen.
How can we prevent child abuse? We have causes and reasons in numbers but no solutions.
Every year more than three million reports of child abuse are made alone in the United States. In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) released a study report on child abuse. The report discusses incidence of child abuse in India nationwide.
It is estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence.
W.H.O. estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence.
The numbers are surely unimaginable. The prevention measures include:
Take responsibility, and consider prevention of child abuse as our moral and social duty. Immediately report child abuse cases even if we have a small doubt of its occurrence.
Educate people about the different types of child abuses and stress on its prevention. Hold seminars and make cartoon documentaries to educate children about their abuse, and difference between good touch and bad touch. Be a part and support child rights organizations.
In the end it’s particular a responsibility of government to ensure the safety of its citizens, strict laws should be framed against child abuses and these laws should be strictly followed,
As per a research, five children die every day because of child abuse. Remember a child cannot stop abuse but we can. Act now and eradicate this menace.

— Courtesy: RK

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