Abuse and Types of Abuse
Abuse refers to cruel, violent, harmful or injurious treatment of another human being. It includes physical, emotional or psychological, verbal, child and sexual abuses. Abuse can occur within the family and with people who are not associated with the family.
These days the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco has been increasing especially among teenagers and adolescents for adventure, excitement, curiosity and experimentation.
Let's analyse some of the consequences of sexual and childhood abuse, its prevention and protection.
Child abuse constitutes all forms of physical or emotional ill treatment, sexual abuse, exploitation resulting in child’s ill health, survival and development. Physical abuse of a child is defined as those acts that cause physical harm such as threatening, beating, kicking and hitting the child.
Sexual harassment is a form of power and dominance of one person over another, which can result in harmful consequence to the victim. It refers to inappropriate or forced sexual contact. Adolescent girls and women encounter sexual harassment in different forms. Sexual abuse is more common at work places. Verbal remarks, comments, gestures and looks are the most common forms of abuse. This results in psychological distress, physical illness and eating disorders in the affected individuals.
Children are considered soft targets for sexual abuse because they may not realize that they are being abused. Commonly, abusers are persons well known to the child, may even be living in the same locality. Abusers also bribe (use chocolates and toys) to lure children and take advantage of the child’s innocence.
Sexually abused children show symptoms of genital injury, abdominal pain, frequent urinary infection and behavioural problems.
Measures adopted for monitoring and assessment of abused child who have undergone signs and symptoms of distress are:
Child Helpline: The Child Helpline provides a social worker who can assist the child by providing food, shelter and protection.
Counselling the child: Psychologists and social workers should provide guidance, counselling and continous support to a victimized child.
Family support: The victimized child should be supported by the family members. They should be provided with proper care and attention to overcome their sufferings.
Medical care: A child victim of sexual offences should receive medical care and treatment from health care professionals to overcome mental stress and depression.
Legal Counsel: The family or the guardian of the child victim shall be entitled to free assistance of a legal counsel for such offence.
Rehabilitation: Enrolling in schools and resuming their education is an important step towards rehabilitation of the child. It is essential that the child’s life is gradually returned to normal after the incidence of abuse.
Community based efforts: Conducting awareness campaign on child abuse and its prevention.
The most important social policy proclaimed universally is the prevention of child abuse. Taking steps to prevent childhood sexual abuse is parental and institutional responsibility. Instructions to be given by parents and teachers to the child are.
· Do not talk to any suspected person or strangers and to maintain a distance.
· Not to be alone with unknown person.
· To be careful while travelling alone in public or private transport.
· Not to receive money, toys, gifts or chocolates from known or unknown person to them without the knowledge of their parents.
· Not to allow known or unknown person to touch them.
It is the responsibility of every individual living in a society to ensure a safe and protected environment for our children to enable them to live with dignity and free from any form of violence.