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
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
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
Counselling the child: Psychologists and social
workers should provide guidance, counselling and continous support to a
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:
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
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
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.