This paper highlights the extent of child abuse cases in our society with especial focus on its relation to our culture. Furthermore this paper will try to explain what roles the healthcare authorities can play in reducing the alarming rate of child abuse cases.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
The article’s discusses the shocking findings of the level of abuse to children all over the world. Although some form of abuse may be more prevalent in one part of the world, its enormity can neither be mistaken nor underestimated. The UN report clearly informs us that the physical and sexual abuse of children is found all over the world, hidden or otherwise. Abuse is tolerated and even accepted in some cultures. (Edwards, pA3)
According to the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), physical abuse is defined as “inflicting of physical injury…harming a child” while sexual abuse is defined as “performing sexual acts” like production of pornographic materials, rape, or prostitution. The UN report clearly shows that the number of sexual crimes against female children as far greater to male children. (Massey-Stokes, & Lanning, p193)
The case with physical and sexual abuse is related to the violent nature of the people within a society. Even though some people are generally more violent than others, there appears to be a tendency amongst low income social groups to be victimized in this crime. Also some of the cases may even go unreported from being public due to defamation it causes to the family thus the true extent of this crime may never be known. (Edwards, pA3)
Role of Health Educators
Healthcare agencies, governmental organizations, and Non Government Organizations (NGOs) play a vital role in creating this world less abusive for the children. The basic thing these organizations must do is to make the victims gain trust in these organizations. Mostly the victims are too scared to tell on their assailants, thus this is an important step to make the victims find a safe haven from their assailants.
This can be done though proper marketing of the services while spreading a good reputation through word of mouth. Secondly parenting must improve and this can only happen if the parents are trained to take appropriate measures to ensure their children safety. Children should be taught how to protect themselves better and what action to take if they have been abused. Schools play an important role in identifying any abusive behavior and reporting it to the concerned authorities. Finally the family, the school and the society must come together to understand this problem so that necessary precautions are taken for every child. (Massey-Stokes, & Lanning, p193)
Acceptance of Corporal Punishment – A Cultural Thing
As mentioned above, physical abuse in some parts of the world is acceptable and used widely as a tool of punishment. We all have read stories of Roald Dahl where a headmaster of a school punishes the students by spanks their bottoms with a cane. However these are not only stories, rather they are hard facts, as the UN report shows (Massey-Stokes, & Lanning, p193).
The APA (2002) article continues the ever long debate on whether corporal punishment to children should be used as a means of punishment or not. Although science has proven negative effects of corporal punishment, the answer belongs to the people who administer this type of punishment. For some people (mostly in the East), this type of punishment is required for every child so as to make the child do as is required. On the other hand some people (in the West) think this is form of physical abuse which is bad for the development of the children (Fontes, 116).
Nowadays corporal punishment is being banned in schools and at homes by the government. This practice is completely banned in Scandinavian countries while in the Germany and Austria, a child can call up the child care services to report corporal punishment (Maldonado, 2008). In comparison, sub-continental countries use corporal punishment as a major force in educating a child. Therefore it is fair to say that corporal punishment is a cultural thing where western cultures are more sensitive to the child’s development process.
APA. Is corporal punishment an effective means of discipline? American Psychological Association. Web.
BU. “Corporal Punishment”. Bucknell University. Web.
Edwards, S. “Many cultures accept ‘shocking’ child abuse”. Leader Post. Regina, Sask.: 2006. pg. A.3.
Fontes, L.A. Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. Guilford Press. (2005). Web.
Massey-Stokes, M. and Lanning, B. “The Role of CSHPs in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect”. The Journal of School Health. Kent: 2004. Vol. 74, Iss. 6; pg. 193.
Maldonado, M. “Cultural issues in the corporal punishment of children”. Web.