Out of the millions of atrocities going on in the world today, the one that never fails to baffle, annoy and disgust me is child abuse, and the fact that it is becoming a festering wound in Africa makes it more worrisome. Child abuse is an action by another person -adult or child- that causes significant harm to a child. It can be physical, sexual or emotional, but can just as often be about lack of love, care and attention. Abused child often experience more than one type of abuse, as well as other difficulties in their lives. It often happens over a period of time, rather than a one-off event. This multifaceted virus is not just about sexual abuse that everyone seems so worried about. Child abuse is in two forms: “Non-contact and Contact form” and as a matter of fact, sexual abuse is just a manifestation of the virus. Abuse mostly starts from the ‘Non-contact form’ and it includes the following of which I will just explain a few: Domestic Abuse, Neglect, Emotional Abuse, Grooming, Child trafficking, Online Abuse, Bullying and Cyberbullying. Neglect: This is an ongoing failure to meet a child’s basic needs and it is the most common form of child abuse. Neglect is not just about a child that is hungry and dirty, but also about children that doesn’t seems get adequate love, care and attention they need from their parents. A neglected child will also suffer another form of abuse. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long term damage and even death. Emotional Abuse: It is sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage a child’s emotional health and development. It can involve deliberately trying to harm a child or humiliate, isolate and ignoring her.
Domestic Abuse: Most parent hardly consider the consequences of their actions on their children, In fact, many go as far as getting them involved in the fight or abuse. Children subjected to witnessing domestic abuse especially their parents tends to grow up to be an abusive person. This act doesn’t seems to affect them physically but they tends to grow up believing it is the right thing to do.
Online Abuse: Domestic buses nternet, whether through social networks, playing online games or using instant messaging. Children and young people may experience cyberbullying, grooming, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or emotional abuse. Children are at risk for online abuse from people they know and strangers.
Grooming: Grooming is when someone build an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purpose of sexual abuse, exploitation or trafficking. Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world by a stranger or by someone they know. Maybe a friend, family member or a professional. Victims usually are not aware they are being groomed. This is why it is imperative that you get involve in the life of your children and the company they keep. All these non-contact forms of child abuse may eventually lead to sexual abuse, trafficking or child mutilation. Quite a lot is going on in this present age such as Incest between brothers, sisters, father – daughters, abduction, rape etc. Victims tends to keep it to themselves out of fear or victimisation. Therefore, in your busy schedule, find time to engage your children in discussions, games and lots more. Nothing is as beautiful as spending quality time with them every day. If they are part of your daily routine, just like your mobile phone, there is no way you won’t see the red alert should anything go wrong.