Child Abuse: Workable Solutions

Child abuse is a pressing issue that affects millions of children worldwide irrespectively of their age, gender, and socioeconomic background. According to the U.S. federal law, child abuse includes any act or behavior that leads to serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or death of a child (Children’s Bureau, 2017). Research shows that in most of the cases, abusers are not strangers but parents and members of the family, which makes children more vulnerable and defenseless because abuse occurs on a daily basis (Kids First, 2009). Many recommendations and guidelines have been developed to prevent child abuse, so in this essay, I describe some of them to explore the most effective and workable solutions.

There is a consensus that child abuse should be addressed by improved parenting skills. It is believed that some protective measures taken by parents and caregivers can reduce the risk of abuse. For example, scholars argue that it is extremely important to provide nurturing and develop healthy attachment (Healthy Place, 2017). It means that parents should express their love and support and make sure that the child feels appreciated and cared for. A child knowing that he is loved can cope with stresses and troubles more effectively and is more successful in the academic sphere (Healthy Place, 2017).

Furthermore, it is important for parents to know the vital information about the youth development, as well as their parental duties and rights. Parents should know the limits of their authority and provide children with the needed freedom and independence instead of forcing their opinions on them (Healthy Place, 2017). It is also important to know the processes associated with each stage of development, as well as the typical challenges and behavioral problems that may complicate parent-child relationships (Kids First, 2009). Knowing a child well helps a parent to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts, thus reducing the risks of abuse. Parents should also establish close relationships with their children so that they would not be afraid of reporting abuse. The sad reality is that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused at some point in their school life, but few of them speak about their problems with parents (Kids First, 2009). It is estimated that only one in ten children reports the abuse, so if a child does not trust parents, they may easily miss the time when their child needs them the most.

It is important to remember that there may not be any visible signs of abuse, as children usually hide them from parents. Most of the children have no changes in their behavior, so parents may not even know that there is something wrong with them. However, a good parent who knows one’s child well will likely detect the slightest changes in his/her communication patterns or health. Such signs as sleeping problems, unexplained aggression or anger, apathy, reluctance to go to school, and so on should be carefully investigated (Kids First, 2009). Finally, it is recommended to reduce situations when a child is left one-on-one with adults that may sexually or physically abuse him/her (Kids First, 2009). The problem is that abusers can often be among family friends and relatives, teachers, and other acquaintances whom parents trust. Therefore, it is recommended to encourage more social activities, such as sports, school clubs, volunteering, etc. to make sure that a child is always surrounded by many people.

To conclude, child abuse is a common, yet preventable issue that requires much dedication from parents. It is critically important not only to protect the child from someone else’s abuse but also make sure that parents’ actions do not harm a child in any relation. There are several main recommendations given to parents to prevent child abuse, which include building nurturing and trusting relationships; encouraging communication and honesty; learning a child’s behavior and character, and limiting time spent one-on-one with other adults. The main idea underlining all these recommendations is that knowing a child well and showing support and love can significantly reduce the risks of any types of abuse and maltreatment.

 

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References

Children’s Bureau. (2017). Definition of child abuse and neglect in federal law. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/defining/federal/

Healthy Place. (2017). Child abuse prevention: How to stop child abuse. Retrieved from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/child-abuse-information/child-abuse-prevention-how-to-stop-child-abuse/

Kids First. (2009). 7 ways to prevent child abuse. Retrieved from http://www.kidsfirstinc.org/preventing-abuse

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