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Essay on “Child Abuse: A Grave Crime” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Child Abuse: A Grave Crime


Child abuse, intentional acts that result in physical or emotional harm to children. The term child abuse covers a wide range of behaviour, from actual physical assault by parents or other adult caretakers to neglect of a child’s basic needs. Child abuse is also sometimes called child maltreatment. Although the extent of child abuse is difficult to measure, it is recognized as a major social problem, especially in industrialized nations. It occurs in all income, racial, religious and ethnic groups and in urban and rural communities. It is, however, more common in some groups, especially those below the poverty line.

Cultures around the world have different standards in deciding what constitutes child abuse. In Sweden, for example, the law prohibits any physical punishment of children, including spanking. By contrast, in some countries of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, parents are expected to punish their children by hitting them.

There are several different types of child abuse and some children experience more than one form. Physical abuse includes deliberate acts of violence that injure or even kill a child. Unexplained bruises, broken bones or burn marks on a child may be signs of physical abuse. Sexual abuse occurs when adults use children for sexual gratification or expose them to sexual activities. Sexual abuse may begin with kissing or fondling and progress to more intrusive sexual acts. Emotional abuse destroys a child’s self-esteem. Such abuse commonly includes repeated verbal abuse of a child in the form of shouting, threats and degrading or humiliating criticism. Other types of emotional abuse are confinement, such as shutting a child in a dark closet and social isolation, such as denying a child the most common form of child abuse is neglect. Physical neglect involves a parent’s failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care to a child. It may also include inadequate supervision and a consistent failure to protect a child from hazards or danger. Emotional neglect occurs when a parent or caretaker fails to meet a child’s basic needs for affection and comfort Examples Of emotional neglect include behaving in a cold, distant and unaffectionate way toward a child, allowing a child to witness chronic or severe spousal abuse, allowing a child to use alcohol or drugs and encouraging a child to engage in delinquent behaviour. Another form of neglect involves failing to meet a child’s basic education needs, either by failing to enrol a child in school or by permitting a child to skip school frequently.

Many researchers believe that statistics based on official reports do not accurately reflect the prevalence of child abuse. Definitions of maltreatment vary from state to state and among agencies, making the statistics unreliable. Professionals who interact with children such as teachers, day-care workers, pediatricians and police officers- may fail to recognize or report abuse. In addition, acts of abuse usually occur in the privacy of a family’s home and often go unreported.

It has been estimated that 2,000 children under the age of 18 are killed by parents or caretakers each year. Annually, more children under the age of four die from abuse and neglect than from falls, choking on food, drowning, fires or motor vehicle accidents. More than 18,000 children suffer permanent disabilities from abuse or neglect annually.

Many people have difficulty understanding why any person would hurt a child. The public often assumes that people who abuse their children suffer from mental disorders, but fewer than 10 Per cent of abusers have mental illnesses. Most abusers love their children but tend to have less patience and less mature Personalities than other parents. These traits make it difficult to cope with the demands of their children and increase the likelihood physical or emotional abuse.

The consequences of child abuse and neglect can be devastating and far-reaching. Physical injuries can range from bruises, scrapes and burns to brain damage, permanent disabilities and death. The psychological effects of abuse and neglect can last a lifetime and may include a lowered sense of self-worth, an inability to relate to peers, reduced attention span and learning disorders. In severe cases, abuse may result in psychiatric disorders like depression, excessive anxiety or dissociative identity disorder, as well as an increased risk of suicide. Behaviour problems often develop after abuse, including violence and juvenile crime.

Despite being abused, the majority of maltreated children do not show signs of extreme disturbance and many can cope with their problems. A number of factors help insulate children from the effects of maltreatment. These include high intelligence, good scholastic achievement, good temperament and having close personal relationships.

Since the 1960s efforts to ensure that abused children are identified have increased greatly worldwide. As a result, the number of children reported as abused or neglected has increased substantially.


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