Child abuse is defined as the physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment of a child. Child maltreatment is defined as acts of omission or commission by parent or any other caregiver which may result to harm or potential of harm as well as harm threat to any child (MedlinePlus, 2010). Most of child abuse are known to occur in the child’s home but smaller occurrences has been noticed in schools, organizations as well as community, which the child is interacting with. Child abuse is not only through violent acts but there are several ways and acts which can be said as abuse to a child.
In this paper, I argue that child abuse is not only perpetrated through violent means but also through other nonviolent means. Child abuse is in different forms. It is much more than broken bones and bruises that can be noticed on a child who has been physically abused. Other forms of child abuse such emotional abuse as well as child neglect may also leave a child with long lasting and deep scars, which may not be seen but in the heart of the child (Wolfe, 1999). Some of the signs that can show a child has been abused may be subtler than the others.
Smoking in front of children or inside cars which is carrying children may serve as one form of child abuse. This is because one smoking in places where children are present would mean ruining the health of the children as they are not aware of that and even they can not stop you from smoking. Cot deaths in children are linked to mothers smoking while they are pregnant (UNICEF, 2000). In America evidence has shown that many children die as a result of the effects of their parents smoking and is more than the deaths which results from accidents.
Neglecting a child is known to be another form of child abuse. Neglecting child encompasses many things which may include non-compliance with the recommendation of health care, depriving a child food which may result to the child being hungry as well as failing to enable the child to thrive physically (Baskerville, 2006). Other areas of concern may include exposure of children to drugs as well as lack of protecting them from the dangers of environment. Furthermore, child abuse can as well include abandonment of child, poor hygiene, inadequate supervision and depriving a child the right of education.
In addition, there are several other forms of child abuse which may include ridiculing a child, degrading a child, destruction or torture of child’s pet, destroying personal belongings of a child, criticizing a child excessively, withholding communication with a child as well as humiliating a child (UNICEF, 2000). All these form of child abuse does not mean one is using violence but the fact is that these acts can result to child abuse. This form of abuse can hurt the child internally and may make the child to live uncomfortable life through out his or her life.
In conclusion, not all forms of child abuse require one to use violence so as to be considered as child violence. Emotional abuse is one of the worst practices of child abuse since its effect is long lasting and may even cause the life of a child to change completely through out his or her life. Therefore, emotional child abuse and other forms of child abuse that does not involve violence should be considered as equally affecting the life of child negatively.
Courtney from Study Moose
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