Child abuse is a violation of child right; it may be physical, psychological or emotional; it may happen in the family setting, day care centers, and schools or in the society generally. Although there is a common accepted agreement that some violence can be legitimized, under the name ‘necessary punishment,’ with the aim of disciplining a child, the level of punishment cannot be scientifically quantified.
The main reason for choosing child abuse as a form of social work research is the preference and the continued occurrence of the practice despite campaigns against it (Chitereka, 2009). This paper examines from a broader perspective (social works perspective) major forms of child abuse, causes of child abuse and finally a few remedies to the vice in our societies.
Social research on the topic
Child abuse takes different forms, generally, three main forms that are of higher concern among people, and they are:
Physical: Parents, day care centers, house girls ,teachers and the society have for long been punishing children by inflicting pain, especially when the child has done what is believed to be wrong. This is done with the aim of ensuring that the child is disciplined and is meant as a legitimate punishment. However, the punishment is often excessive and thus an abuse. What is not excessive is subject to debate.
Psychological: A family and society at large is an element of peace and comfort, what we do, what we talk, the environment that we live in creates a picture in a child’s mind that affects the mental stability of the child. It should be noted that a child’s mind is constantly learning and the surrounding of the child have a far-reaching effect. In incidences of rape, the child is psychologically affected in its lifetime especially if counseling support is not given effectively.
Emotional: Children learn mainly through interaction with other children through playing their various social games. This is a very important exercise in a child’s life but many parents worldwide have denied their children this important socialization process, it may be direct, where children are locked in the house or strictly forbidden from going outside. Others restrict their child on the children they are expected to play with. On the indirect perspective, parents line up numerous duties to be performed by the child either homework or a never-ending tuition, all this geared to deny a child free time.
some opposing views as well generalization occur in the society that justify or seem to keep the menace going on, some theories have been developed to that effect, they include:
Resources theory: Through research, it has been found that children from the poor are more prone to abuse than the well off families, sociologists have attributed this to the psychological stress of life and thus parents end up being agitated by minor issues that can lead to abuse. At the same time, the parent has no time for the child.
Interaction level: Family is a social institution and conflicts are thus inevitable, a spouse violating the other has a psychological effect on their children. The conflicts may be between the parents and the child and result into abuse to the child.
One of the most interesting things I found in the article is the way it summarized the wide topic and gave a solution on how the vise can be stopped among communities, it is of the opinion that the underlying principle to stop the vice is education of both parents and prospective parents. Programs should be set up to assist the already abused child (Chitereka, 2009).
From the article, I have learnt of the existence of a social menace, child abuse that seems to be justified by socialization and the culture that people hold. In social work practice, it is an added pool of knowledge necessary when trying to look for solutions to issues facing the world social settings. An area that I feel was not adequately covered in the article, and need to be looked into, is the correlation between domestic violence and child abuse.
Chitereka, C. (2009). Child Abuse In Africa: What Can Social Workers Do?. Rajagiri Journal of Social Development, 1(1), 17-34.