“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
Since time immemorial the condition of women and children has been a matter of great concern as they have suffered due to the social practises prevailing since early ages. Children being one of the most vulnerable sections of society have been subjected to various kinds of maltreatment and in order to safeguard their interests, various legislations have been passed. It is really disheartening that despite multiple legislations being framed for the purpose of safeguarding the interest of Children, the ill-treatment hasn’t stopped and the various laws have not been able to save the children.
There are multiple types of abuses that children face including physical, emotional or psychological, verbal, and sexual. All of the aforementioned abuses in one way or the other destroy the child in such a manner that the child is unable to recover from the trauma and eventually affects its psyche for life. The main types of abuses can be categorized into the following:
1. Physical abuse: The physical abuses include beating, burning, excessive punishments by parents, manhandling, forcing to work beyond the reasonable standards set up by various legislations, child labor, trafficking, bullying, etc. Physical abuse takes place irrespective of the economic conditions and is faced by children at an early age; it may or may not get detected.
2. Emotional or psychological abuse: The most common form of abuse is emotional abuse which mostly goes undetected. The same can be a result of strained relations between parents or between family members. Stigmatizing the child or isolating or not providing the appropriate environment or subjecting a child to reach unreasonable expectations or even to select a career of parents’ choice. It impacts the mental health of the child beyond repair.
3. Verbal abuse: Such kind of abuse is common in lower-income families, wherein the children are subjected to foul language regularly by their parents and other members of their society. The same is mostly acquired by children and is ultimately imbibed in their behavior.
4. Sexual abuse: The most common form of abuse amongst children is sexual abuse. Activities such as kissing or holding in a sexual manner any body part of the child, or forcing to touch genital areas, vaginal or anal intercourse, sexual exploitation, incest, rape, obscene remarks, virtual sex, online solicitation, exposure to pornography, sexually intrusive comments, voyeurism, etc. amounts to sexual abuse and children from all the income groups are subjected to such abuse. Generally, this abuse gets undetected as children are unable to express the trauma and suffer in silence. In order to protect children from the aforementioned offenses, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was enacted.
Despite time and again trying to protect the children from such an abuse, and providing various constitutional protections in terms of Article 23 & 24 of the Constitution of India, the children continue to suffer.
Abusing a child is a crime that is highly derogatory and alarming in all forms of social institutions. A child is the most innocent beings of all and misleading it into the stratagem of abuse is extremely facile. Mostly, the abuse happens when a caretaker, a person of trust or faith, a confidant, or any other individual
performs such malicious conduct with a child. The causes can range between the abuser’s past, his/her present, or the child’s present or permanent conditions. The economic, emotional, physical condition of the abuser, who might be a parent, or a relative or societal pattern that allows physical punishment as a means to make children disciplined is also a cause for child abuse, along with unhealthy and failed relationships, domestic violence, etc. Certain forms of behavioral patterns are normalized in some households which further causes trouble for children.
The impact of child abuse is lifelong, irrevocable and the victims of abuse, i.e., the altruistic children, generally have an emotional, psychological, and physical impact on their lives which harms their present as well as future. The impact of child abuse is not only over the abused child but affects the bonds/relations the child makes in the future.
All in all, the most vulnerable section of the society needs proper consideration not in terms of laws, as appropriate legislations already exist in the country but in terms of execution/implementation of the existing legislations along with special programs in order to educate people about the abuses faced by children, and the consequences therein. For achieving the growth and development of the country this vulnerable section needs to be protected from all kinds of abuses. If You like This Blog I Hope You Will like This also Anti-Defection Law in India