According to the data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India, the crime against children has taken a huge increase from 2015 to 2016 and it is still on the move. This unwanted increase is a huge shame for any civilization. Our children - the future of our country - are living with an unwanted fear today.
Look at the following numbers of the data sourced from National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, Crime in India (2016)
The above data is the latest report published by the NCRB in their website portal.
Don’t you feel sad that a child, who doesn’t even know much about society, has to suffer so many numbers of crimes against him/her? Therefore, it is a high-time to understand and know something about child abuse and neglect.
What is a Child Abuse & Neglect? Child Abuse and Neglect is defined as an injury, sexual violence, negligent treatment or any physical harm made or given to any child in any circumstances which has harmed child’s health, welfare and safety.
Please read out the following sections carefully where the different types of child abuses and neglect have been discussed. Check out the usual signs and symptoms and if you find any child who has some similar signs, please help him/her.
In 2007, a study was conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Save the Children, and Prayas to understand the magnitude of child abuse in India. It was found that 69% of the children are physically abused, out of which 54.68% were boys. And 88.6% were physically abused by their parents. 65% of the school going students get corporal punishment. – Source: NCBI
PHYSICAL ABUSE is harm or an injury given to a child intentionally either by the parents, caretakers or the guardian. Remember, it is a non-accidental act. It not only causes physical injury but also gives trauma in the minds of the children.
Physical Abuse results in visible bruises, blisters, cut marks, wounds, broken bones, sprains, swollen body parts, etc.
How to identify that a parent / a caretaker / a guardian is physically abusive?
Will not be able to answer the reason behind the injury. And if he/she did, the answer will not make any sense.
Will show aggression on each and every behaviour of a child.
Will always try to justify that the child is a troublemaker, a liar, and not trustworthy.
Will not take care of the child, medically.
Will not allow the child to go-social in school, get-together, and another recreational area.
Signs to identify whether a child is physically abused or not –
Severe injuries – swollen area, burnt marks, red/blue marks on the body.
Injuries at different stages of healing.
A child is unable to describe the reason behind the injuries.
A specific time of injury – during weekends, after school, after the get-together, etc.
Physical Abuse in a child not only brings physical injuries but also several behavioural changes which are negative in nature. There can be a number of causes behind the physical abuse against children, but majorly are as follows:
Incompetency to adopt a positive way of parenting.
A huge level of stress in the family.
Parents have had such abusive behaviour in their childhood.
Careless or negligent behaviour towards child care.
Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in any sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend or give consent to an adult. In addition, it is sexual exploitation and molestation of a child as he or she is getting used for sexual activity.
It involves –
Contact or non-contact abuse.
Forcing a child to see any sex organ or any porn video.
Vulgar talk related to sex.
Oral sex, penetration.
Child prostitution and child pornography.
What are the signs in a child, if getting sexually abused?
Physical Signs –
Feeling difficulty to walk, sit, or move.
Bleeding, pain and swelling in the genital area.
Getting infected frequently with urinary tract infections or yeast infections.
Behavioural Signs –
Depressed, silent, isolated, running away.
Unwilling to eat.
Feeling of guilt, anger, poor relations with family members.
Sleep disturbance, nightmares.
According to WHO, the dynamics of sexually abused children is quite different from the adults. In this case, physical force or violence is hardly used. Instead, the perpetrator uses the way of manipulation of the child's trust and usually tries to hide the abuse. Here, the abuser is generally a known person to a child, not a stranger. The worst part, this sort of abuse to a child usually continues over many weeks and sometimes years.
It is very important for the parents to build a trust and love relationship with their child so that he or she can report any such unwanted incident. All children have to be dealt with extreme care and sensitivity. Ask the child to explain what is happening with them, or what has happened in their own words.
Every Child deserves enough care and supervision to stay healthy and active. However, it seems to be surprised that there are many children around the world who are neglected by their parents in terms of basic necessities, like clothing, food, medical needs, educational needs and social needs.
Here, parents or the caretakers or the guardians have to be responsible enough to provide enough love and care to the child and even should provide all basic needs to the child, so as to maintain a healthy and happy childhood.
If you see or find any child who is getting abused or neglected, then get the help right away. You can dial 1098 (Child Line, India) to seek immediate help. This ChildLine project has been supported by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.