Child Abuse – Complicated Phenomenon With Numerous Causes

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Child abuse refers to the physical, sexual, mental maltreatment of a child who is below 18 years old. The modern society who has witnessed a sudden rise of child abuse and the causes are mostly rooted in the society. The consequences are as impactful as they were in the past. In order to protect the child, many preventive and legal measures are being taken.

Child abuse is a complicated phenomenon with numerous causes. According to many sociologists, behind many cases of child abuse, there are often distorted family situations. Humphreys and Thiara (2002) argue that child abuse has strong links to domestic violence.

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Men who are violent towards their partner are also violent and abusive towards children in their care. The most likely abuser, according to the National Commission of Inquiry into the prevention of child abuse (1996), is someone known to the child, particularly a male parent or step-parent. Hence, abuse may be detected in families who have to deal with complicated marital problems such as domestic violence, marital discord or extra marital affairs. All these contribute to a dis- balance in the child’s life.

Additionally, the modern society also requires both parents to work, often at odd hours, thus, leading to child neglect. Child neglect is a situation where a child is not given enough food, shelter, affection, supervision, education or health care. In many cases, parents are so concerned about their own lives that they fail in meeting the needs of the child-emotional. Huge workload or at times the inability to cope with work stress often lead parents to neglect the child. Teenage parenthood is yet another cause of child abuse. Teen parents often lack the required maturity to take care of a child. In this vicious cycle, there is also poverty which plays a determinant role in child abuse. The parents are unable to satisfy the needs of the child namely food, shelter, clothing, medical treatment and educational needs

Moreover, child exposed to violence or abuse are more prone to emotional and behavioral problems. According to NSCAW (National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being),

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