Many questions have been raised concerning abused children, questions which today have still not been answered. Do abused children get to achieve their aspirations? Do they even still have aspirations after the experience? What becomes of them after the ordeal?
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, Child abuse is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to act by a parent or a caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to a child and can occur in a child’s home, or in the organizations, schools, or communities the child interacts with.
Child Abuse is enacted in various ways: physical, sexual, and emotional. Emotional abuse carries the aftermath of other forms of abuse, mostly because it is a consequence of any other abuse. Therefore it is the height of all forms of abuse. The question, what is (abused) children like after been abused is weighty. The effect is so destructive that they hardly recover from the psychological damage. (because this is the point where the effect of the abuse react in/on them).
Most children after been abused become very emotional and as a result, become(s) hyper-sensitive and take(s) things (especially cases similar to theirs) very personal. Usually, hyper-sensitivity triggered by abusive experience comes with hyper-destructive attitudes, among which are: bullying, self-destructive complex, suicidal thoughts, grudge, etc. With the knowledge of the fact that abused children are sometimes a threat to themselves and society, it is pertinent for individuals to take responsibility for looking out for every child around them whether or not they are related to them.
Talking about society, no society develops without children. This is why an Igbo adage says that “when you train a child, you have developed the community”. Until every society begins to see child abuse as one of the agents of underdevelopment, the level of development in such societies might be minimal. A comparative investigation of countries with Child Abused uncovered that the United Kingdom is the safest place a child can be, while Pakistan is the least. Looking at these two countries one will notice that the development rate of both countries is different, with the United kingdom at its peak of development is one of world’s most powerful countries in all ramifications, while Pakistan is still at the bottom of development. With a careful investigation of child abuse and its consequences, one would see that it is indeed an agent of underdevelopment. Underdevelopment occurs when a country experiences a low level of development characterized by low real per capita income, wide-spread poverty, lower level of literacy, low life expectancy, and underutilized resources (quote your source). When underdevelopment is mentioned what comes to the mind most times is corruption and poverty. Not many are mindful of what we the individuals do to fuel it through the manner we raise the children in our custody and those outside. Nobody seems to notice the harm child abuse unlashes on a nation’s economic and structural development.
Children sometimes, after been abused, see themselves as “misfit” for the society and as a such would not be bold enough to face life or pursue their dreams and aspirations again and this, in turn, brings about unutilized knowledge, resources, abilities, etc, thereby having a far-reaching effect on the nation’s economic and structural development. For instance, if a child who aspires to become a law enforcement agent (criminologist), is sexual or physically abused, with respect to such brutality may not end up achieving that aspiration if he/she does not find the will to. In this scenario, society just lost an amiable individual, not at the moment of but in the future.
Furthermore, sometimes parents abuse their children without Knowing that and this is why everyone (parent, guardian, friends, and family) should be cautious about how they relate with children around them: through misguided actions, words, expressions, reactions to their children’s mistakes, they can be abused, through comparison, mentally degrading words, children can develop an inferiority complex, the inferiority complex that shields them from what they truly should become. In a case where parents force their children to undertake an academic discipline of their choice, against the children’s inclination, the society loses, because such a child would not give his/ her best to what he/she doesn’t want. In other words, they would not excel to the best of their ability in such circumstances. Child labor, maltreatment, overbearing spankings are not just the only ways to abuse children. Children can also be abused by the choices we make for them, however good our intentions are. If not allowed to make the “wrong” choices and be corrected with love, how would they learn from their own experiences? They will grow up making wrong choices, which also is bad for a nation’s well being.
For a nation to grow, both institutions (government) and individuals should understand that child abuse can be an agent of underdevelopment. Without this understanding, this highly destructive act can hardly be combatted effectively. And for our country to bear the desirous fruits of development, all hands must be on deck if we must uproot this monstrous fig tree from our soil.
In a Nation where child abuse is on a rampage, it takes the only strongly willed and graced with brave hearts to survive the experience, build aspirations, and achieve them.
SAY NO TO CHILD ABUSE; HELP A CHILD TODAY
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