Child Abuse: Corporal Punishment, Intimidation

Raising a child, taking care of their health and well–being is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of discipline and persistence from parents. As practice shows, even in well-off families, where parents experience sincere love and affection for their children, such forms of influence on the child as corporal punishment, intimidation, depriving the child of communication can be used in the educational process.

At the same time, most parents are well aware that such a tactic of education is a violation of the rights of their children and the cause of possible deviations in the mental and physical development of the child. A child’s situation in families with a lower level of culture, in families where the child becomes a burden, not a joy of life, is much worse. The problem of violence and ill treatment of children in the family today is an issue that needs to be discussed and taken measures to solve.

The parental home and family are guarantees of stability and reliability for juvenile children. However, in current conditions, many families have not been able to adapt and form protective mechanisms. The educational potential has decreased, the moral and psychological climate in the family sphere and society has worsened (Mathews et al., 2020). The alienation of parents from children, the increase in the processes of family deformation, the destruction of moral and ethical norms, social ties, the aggravation of the criminal situation, the deterioration of the health of the children’s population, insufficient – all this has led to a decrease in the level of protection of children and adolescents.

Children brought up in families where such factors are adjacent, such as alcoholism of parents, regular scandals, financial difficulties, are even more at risk of becoming abuse victims by parents. Child abuse is divided into physical and psychological violence.

There are four types of violence and child abuse: physical violence, neglect, sexual violence, psychological abuse. Physical violence is understood as the infliction of physical injuries or bodily injuries to a child by parents causing damage to their health, disrupting their development, and depriving them of life. In addition, this category can include physical punishments, which in some families are used as disciplinary measures.

Aggressiveness and cruelty in the upbringing of children form poorly educated people who do not know how to work, create a family, be good parents and citizens of their country leads to the reproduction of violence and cruelty in society. The escalation of physical punishment in education has an opposite result relative to the goal being pursued. Sexual violence or seduction can be considered as a separate category of child abuse since, in this case, physical impact primarily affects the child’s psyche. Sexual violence is understood as using a child by an adult or another child to satisfy sexual needs or obtain benefits.

Psychological neglect is the consistent inability of a parent or caregiver to provide the child with the necessary support, attention, and affection. Negligence of the interests and requirements of the child – the lack of adequate provision of the primary conditions and needs of the child in food, clothing, education, medical care by parents due to objective reasons and without them. A typical example of neglect of children is leaving them unattended, which leads to accidents, poisoning, and other consequences dangerous to the life and health of the child.

From a psychological point of view, child abuse is emotional violence, which means constant or periodic verbal abuse of a child, threats from parents, accusing them of something they are not guilty of. This type of violence also includes constant lies, deception of the child (as a result of which he loses confidence in an adult), and requirements imposed on the child that does not correspond to age capabilities.

Any child abuse leads to various consequences, but they all have one thing in common – damage to the child’s health or danger to their life. Negative consequences for health are loss or deterioration of the function of an organism, the development of a disease, a violation of physical or mental development. Farrell et al. (2017) state that in 15 years (between 1999 and 2014), 11,149 children aged 0 to 4 years died precisely because of abuse. According to WHO (2020), the current reality is that about 3 out of 4 children, that is, about 300 million children aged 2 to 4 years, suffer from physical punishment of their parents. This statistic is frightening, as it clearly emphasizes how many innocent children are forced to experience the pain, torment, and bullying of their parents.

The result of child abuse is a large number of diseases and abnormalities. Often, children have a delay in mental and speech development. In addition, growth retardation and weight changes can indicate that the child is being abused. Sleep disorders, nightmares, fear of the dark, and people are the consequences of a bad attitude towards the child. Children become depressed, become alienated, reactions slow down, begin to think that the meaning of life is lost and become suicidal. Afifi et al. (2016) claim that the most common physical health problems for victims of abuse in childhood are migraines, arthritis, back diseases, cancer and chronic fatigue. An uncompromising attitude towards a child in the future, in his adult state, leads to serious health problems, which means that a person experience inconveniences all their life.

It is possible to identify that a child is being subjected to violence and abuse by their behavior and appearance. Children from dysfunctional families, in which parents’ cruelty to children is often manifested, look untidy, it can be seen a large number of bruises, wounds, burns, scratches on their body. The behavior of such children is usually negative, and they can be much more aggressive than children who do not suffer from the cruelty of their parents. Affected children are characterized by fearfulness, especially concerning adults, as well as conversations with themselves. This indicates that the child’s psyche is disturbed, and they need the help of specialists.

To reduce the number of cases in which children are subjected to abuse, it is necessary to take several actions. It is required to start first of all with parents. They need to understand that everyone was once children and probably also brought a relatively large amount of trouble and worries to their parents. In this regard, parents need to be patient and try to explain to their children calmly and with restraint what they are wrong about and act in a particular situation. Moreover, parents should show their children a good example: behave correctly in any case, especially when the child is nearby, lead a healthy lifestyle. The respectful attitude of parents to each other will show the child that they are safe, and the child will also see what the relations in the family should be.

In addition to ordinary families in which abuse is reduced only to parents’ intolerance, there are also such families in which violence is associated with drug addiction, alcoholism, and parents’ extreme poverty. In this case, the solution to the problem should come from the heads of state and local self-government bodies. Such families should be taken under control, and specialists should visit them to monitor the condition of children.

People have the opportunity to use the media to draw public attention to cases of child abuse (Prinz, 2016). In addition, those women who are under the supervision of a narcologist or a psychiatrist must be sterilized to reduce the number of non-pregnant children. It is probably inhumane, and the woman will be deprived of her right to have a child, but this is the only way to save the children from the terrible life that can await them.

In conclusion, the problem of child abuse is one of the most urgent. Domestic violence is one of the important causes today, contributing to the family’s social and psychological ill health, depriving it of stability and security. A child is considered a victim of ill-treatment if, due to actions or omissions on others, they have been harmed or exposed to a high risk of harm. Unfortunately, such situations are not uncommon in the modern world, and the heads of State need to pay maximum attention to it and make efforts to eliminate violence against children.


Afifi, T.O., MacMillan, H.L., Boyle, M., Cheung, K., Taillieu, T., Turner, S., & Sareen, J. (2016). Child abuse and physical health in adulthood. Health Reports, 27 (3), pp. 10-18. Web.

Child maltreatment. (2020). WHO. Web.

Farell, C.A., Fleegler, E.W., Monuteaux, M.C., Wilson, C.R., Christian, C. W., & Lee, L.K. (2017). Community Poverty and Child Abuse Fatalities in the United States. Pediatrics, 139(5), 1-9. Web.

Mathews, B., Pacella, R., Dunne, M., Simunovic, M., & Marston, C. (2020). Improving measurement of child abuse and neglect: A systematic review and analysis of national prevalence studies. PLoS One, 15(1), 1-22. Web.

Prinz, R.J. (2016). Parenting and family support within a broad child abuse prevention strategy: Child maltreatment prevention can benefit from public health strategies. Child Abuse & Neglect, 51, 400-406. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Child Abuse: Corporal Punishment, Intimidation." September 6, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Child Abuse: Corporal Punishment, Intimidation." September 6, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Child Abuse: Corporal Punishment, Intimidation." September 6, 2023.