What would you do if one day you saw a child with a black eye? Child abuse is when any physical harm is done to a child. Children tend to be helpless and cannot do much when they are in a dangerous situation. Child abuse can have an effect on the child that will make them never be the same. The problem is that people are not informed enough about child abuse. Child abuse happens even when you do not expect it to happen around you because it happened in my family. My nieces and nephew were abuse and when I was told I felt like I could not do anything. I had no idea that they were getting abuse. I felt helpless that I should have done something, but I could not. To solve the problem, children need to be educated on child abuse because they can protect themselves, know about it, and know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touches.
Children cannot protect themselves because they are not taught how to. Children are innocent and naïve to think anyone would hurt them. “Most children report little knowledge of sexual abuse and self-protection skills” (Kenny, et al. 37). Children do not really know how to protect themselves that is why we should teach them. Giving them the skills for protection can be a great way for children to feel safe. “Prevention programs should begin at an early age and preschool may be the most opportune time to begin such interventions” (Kenny 26). Parents should be the one to want their children to feel safe. Learning earlier is better because they will know more on how to protect themselves. After, attending the programs children tend to feel much safer (Kenny et al. 42). Children are lacking the knowledge of how there are cruel people in the world. Giving children the information about how they can defend themselves and to be careful to who you trust can help them be aware always. “Empirical evidence demonstrates that parents can be effective teachers of sexual abuse information to their young children” (Kenny 25). Having knowledge about abuse and skills to protect themselves can help a lot of children. Being a parent and teaching these things to your children can help them. Parents are the best teacher a child could have because children will feel more comfortable being told by their parents than any other person. On what they need to know and teaching children as young as three can really improve a child’s life. “the involvement of parents in a simultaneous psychoeducational group experience seemed critical to the success of this program” (Kenny 27). Parents getting involve with these programs can help the children feel safe and more comfortable. Children are very dependent on their parents, even when they try to be independent, they will still need their parents. “Being comfortable with their bodies is a good way for personal safety training to begin with children” (Kenny et al. 47). Feeling comfortable should be the main concern for children because they should not feel scared and confused, so their parents can be there for them. Knowing about their bodies is a great way for them to feel secure and not embarrassed about their body. It teaches them that it is okay to talk about your body.
Sometimes child abuse does not seem that big, but it is a huge problem. It happens and it needs to be stop. “More than 600,000 U.S. children are reported for physical abuse annually” (Dakil 555). Which is a huge amount that so many kids are getting abuse. Even when they get report it is most likely to recur. Recurrence tend to happen with ten percent of cases which is around 88,000 children (Sinanan 658). No child should have to go through abuse let alone multiple times. Child abuse is frequently happening and is extremely hard to be put to an end because there are so horrible people. Lowlifes that are sick and evil to hurt a child for no reason. There is no excuse for child abuse because no child deserves to be put through that. Children are brought into this world not by choice, so they do not deserve any pain. Imaging what they go through and how alone they feel. It is scary especially when they think they cannot do anything. They are alone and scared in a world that they thought was fun, but turns to a reality of cruel people. Children are the purest souls to be in a world of hate and cruelty.
Noticing the signs can be hard when you are not educated about child abuse. Most people who are not in the field with children do not know signs unless it is happening right in front of them. “Respondents with more experience were more likely to report hypothetical cases, and those with less experience and children of their own were less likely to report” (Levi 877). Those who do not know will most likely not report because they are not sure if it is happening. Child abuse is sometimes hard to notice when you do not know much about child abuse. Signs may be hard to notice, but if you look into child abuse and learn about the signs you can see them easier. Most of the time it should not be hard to notice a child change of behavior or dramatic change in personality. Everyone should be able to notice a child that is being harm, that is broken, and that is scared. There is so many sources out there that can be helpful and can teach everyone about child abuse and everything about it.
Programs created help give children more knowledge about abuse and what to do. These workshops can be very affective for children because they give them skills they need if they are ever endangered. New York city nonprofit organization created a workshop were children are being taught safe concepts, safe and non-safe touches and are given an appropriate book (Pulido 1345). This is a great tactic because it helps children be able to protect themselves. Giving them a chance to help prevent it from the future. Children probably feel too scared to tell anyone. Children who have the knowledge about sexual abuse are less likely to be targeted (Kenny, et al 37). No predator would go near a child that knows what the attacker is doing. Predators tend to attack children because they seem clueless and do not understand. Being abuse is scary because you do not know if it would end anytime soon. Children that are so young feel alone and that no one is going to help them. “Facilitators guide the children in making a list of what to do if they experience a not-safe touch and whom to tell, as well as in practicing the assertive language skills needed to express discomfort and to talk with a trusted adult about a not-safe touch” (Pulido 1346). Being afraid to tell anyone or even of the abuser can make you feel alone. Children who get abuse have no one to turn to or no one will believe them. So, when a child is shown that there are people and many resources that can help them they will feel more confident to speak up about their situation.
Communication is one of the most valuable because it is how children can have their voice heard. If they do not communicate with an adult about them being abuse then the abuse will still occur. Parents and their child should have good communication skills with each other. “Behavioral guidance in talking to their children about CSA is given in order to increase parent-child communication” (Kenny 31). Children telling their parent where they are going or parents letting children have some independence, but are still being careful. It also helps when children are uncomfortable in a situation. Teaching a child different ways to say no can be helpful. The program shows different ways to say no through puppets and even have a song for the kids to sing (Kenny 32). Children learn that they can communicate and say no when they do not want to be touch. Giving them a right to speak up and put there foot down when they need to. Talking is the only way a child can be heard. Parents needs to tell their children about proper body parts names because so they know what is okay to touch and what is not okay to touch from another person (Kenny 32). It helps them be more comfortable with their body by knowing the correct names. Having the information about child abuse is good for parents and children because they get a better understanding and they can pass it to their children one day. If we keep passing the information around and teach it to our children then that is making a stand because we are going to be progressing. Each child that learns about child abuse can feel safer and be able to protect themselves.
Children need to know that it is not their fault and have to tell an adult that can help them get the protection they need. Children tend to blame themselves because the abuser puts hurtful words in their head. At a young age children tend to believe what they say because they do not know better. “approximately 30% of victims report sexual abuse experiences occurring before age nine” (Kenny 26). Children under nine years old get more abuse than older kids because they are an easier target. An adult needs to step up and call if they know of a child being harmed because children are easily tricked. A stranger can trick a child into something that they will fall for that is why we teach children about stranger danger. Watching out for strangers is something children are always taught because it is one way for them to stay away from random people that could hurt them. Children being taught safety procedures are important because they need to know how to handle themselves if they have no one with them.
There are many ways to teach children about child abuse. Teach them in a way that makes them feel safe and protected. Teach them in a way that can be helpful because it will be beneficial for them. A good way to help children is through a song called “keep on telling”, which the parents and children sing that is about the touching rule (Kenny 33). When an inappropriate touching is broken, a child can sing this song to help with the concept of what to do. Children are filled with so many emotions it can be hard to process that situation. “Parents are encouraged to be supportive if a child informs them that they have been touched inappropriately and ways to handle this disclosure are reviewed” (Kenny 33). Parents need to remain calm and understanding because the child is frighten about what happened. So, when a child tells you about being abuse you must be patient do not expect them to rush because they are nervous. Once the child is talking you need to assure them that it is not there fault.
Children that have been abuse are not going to grow up normal. They are destroyed and scared after they been abuse. Child abuse causes trauma and the child will grow up with a hard life (Sugaya 385). It affects their life and makes them struggle emotionally and tend to go through bad habits. Some tend to become abusers while others may live a life of drugs. “Children who are the victims of sexual abuse are also frequently exposed to a multiplicity of other stressors and complex circumstances in their lives, including parental substance abuse” (Sinanan 665). It affects their life, it becomes harder for them to be okay with what they went through. Most of the time children who been abuse use drugs as an escape because they do not want to be reminded about the abuse. Being abuse changes an innocent child to a broken and alone child feeling like no one is there for them. There are some disorders that is caused by child abuse like mental retardation, behavioral problems and emotional disturbance (Sinanan 665). It changes the child into someone completely different. Problems that children have impact them and everyone around them because their brain changed. A child brain is being develop and when they are abuse their brain is affected deeply if they have head trauma. Child abuse effects not only the child, but people who are close to the child. Children who been abuse can go through changes that change who they once were, which makes the people look at them differently. Making them sympathize for the children who been abuse when they should make the feel normal not like some broken toy.
The government does have a law to help protect children. International Megan’s law is a bill to protect children from international offenders (Newborn 548). It stops people who have been convicted of a sex crime and people know about them being sex offenders. However, this is to broad mainly for international offender and does not really help stop child abuse. This does not really solve the child abuse problem because it is not taking action. Laws are created and do not solve anything because some people do not bother to care about laws. To stop it the government must be active by helping educate American citizens. They must get involve and really do more to put a stop to child abuse than just some law that does not really have a huge impact. Creating a law does not stop children being abuse because people are still going to do it because they are heartless. Citizens needs to be more active and be the change to help stop child abuse. If we can come together we could help decrease they rate of child abuse because in our world we want it to be gone completely, but it does not work that way. People do not really like talking about serious matters because it is uncomfortable, but it happens and the world is not pretty, that being why we need to do more than just some law that does not solve anything.
Being informed on child abuse will help child abuse decrease because children knowing how to protect themselves is what they need. Workshops that child abuse programs provide can help children get the skills they need. Having knowledge about the issue then it can help them know how to handle the situations. Communication is a big part of trust because without children feeling comfortable with there parents then they may not feel comfortable to talk about it at all. It is important to help stop child abuse because it happens too often. There are plenty of resources out there that can be helpful if parents have questions. If we educate all of America, then we could see some progress with children lives. Children are helpless and do not know what to do and are afraid of the abuser. That is why adults need to be informed as well and help innocent children in their time of need.
Dakil, Suzanne R., et al. “Physical Abuse in U.S. Children: Risk Factors and Deficiencies in Referrals to Support Services.” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, vol. 21, no. 5, July 2012, pp. 555-569. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10926771.2012.680007.
Kenny, Maureen, et al. “Child Sexual Abuse: From Prevention to Self-Protection.” Child Abuse Review, vol. 17, no. 1, Jan/Feb2008, pp. 36-54. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=28699039&site=ehost-live.
Kenny, Maureen. “Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: Psychoeducational Groups for Preschoolers and Their Parents.” Journal for Specialists in Group Work, vol. 34, no. 1, 01 Mar. 2009, pp. 24-42. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ825397&site=ehost-live.
Levi, Benjamin, et al. “How Childcare Providers Interpret ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ of Child Abuse.” Child & Youth Care Forum, vol. 44, no. 6, Dec. 2015, pp. 875-891. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10566-015-9302-5.
NEWBURN, Karne. “The Prospect of an International Sex Offender Registry: Why an International System Modeled After United States Sex Offender Laws Is Not an Effective Solution to Stop Child Sexual Abuse.” Wisconsin International Law Journal, vol. 28, no. 3, Sept. 2010, pp. 547-583. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=67046283&site=ehost-live.
Pulido, Mary L., et al. “Knowledge Gains Following a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program among Urban Students: A Cluster-Randomized Evaluation.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 105, no. 7, July 2015, pp. 1344-1350. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302594.
Sinanan, Allison N. “The Impact of Child, Family, and Child Protective Services Factors on Reports of Child Sexual Abuse Recurrence.” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, vol. 20, no. 6, Nov/Dec2011, pp. 657-676. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10538712.2011.622354.
Sugaya, Luisa, et al. “Child Physical Abuse and Adult Mental Health: A National Study.” Journal of Traumatic Stress, vol. 25, no. 4, Aug. 2012, pp. 384-392. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/jts.21719.