Child abuse is a deep social malice which is widespread across all ethnic, cultural and income groups. The abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or it may even be due to neglecting the child. The abuse, whether it’s intentional or not, leaves a huge impact on the mind of the child. The abuse can happen to the child on the street, at work and even in the confines of their homes. Angry parents often hit their children, or punish them for small mistakes. This all leads to building up of anger and depression in the child.
In a domestic scenario, the child may face a lot of abuse. Mostly they are a victim of their own relatives, parents and siblings. The abuse can be direct in the form of beating, burning, yelling, shaking, blaming, forced sexual stimulation and activity, incest or it may be indirect by neglecting the physical and emotional needs of the child. In cases where the children are forced to live on the street or work at a very young age, the chances of abuse increase manyfold.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the cases of rape and murder of children increase every year, with the national capital topping the list most of the time. Children of migrants, who are not taken into account in the census, do not even have basic facilities of healthcare and education for them. Most of them are homeless or live in unimaginable conditions and their exposure to violence is very high. And since these children are officially not present in the country, there is nothing much that can be done for them.
Another problem that they face is that of trafficking. The children, both boys and girls, are taken off the street or bought from parents, often with a lure of getting them jobs or higher education. They are then made to work illegally in industries or brothels where they are subjected to constant physical and emotional abuse.
Now, you may wonder why we do not do anything to stop it. There are a few laws of child protection in our country but they are difficult to implement. The Juvinile Justice Act, the Central Monitering Commission and the ‘Offences against Children Bill’, are a few of them that have either failed to serve their purpose or are still being discussed in the parliament. This goes to show that the issue of child abuse has never been in our priority list.
Nonetheless, we can and should try to stop children from getting abused at our level. It is important to be cautious and on the watch for abusers are traffickers. The children should be made aware of the problems that they could face and should be encouraged to report any unpleasant and umwanted activity. The abuse leaves deep scars on the overall personality of the children often leading them to grow up into abusers themselves. Hence, providing proper counselling and guidance for such children is also very much essential for long term solutions.