‘What is child abuse?’, one may ask. It is one of the most heinous and stigmatic crimes associated with society today, especially in our country. Abuse, necessarily, doesn’t have to be physical; it can also be manifested sexually and/or emotionally. This can then be segmented into actions like physical injury, neglect, careless treatment, inducing guilt, forced sexual interaction, mistreatment, and sexual abuse, etc. that can categorically be termed as child abuse.
Did you know that most abuse faced by children is at the hands of individuals closely connected to them? Shameful, isn’t it? It is worrisome at the same time too. Child abuse could occur in environments that we consider safe, including homes, schools, orphanages, care facilities, streets, professional environments, juvenile prisons, and detention spaces.
Any form of violence has a long-lasting impact on the child’s general development, resulting in potential harm to the child’s health, daily existence, growth, and integrity. According to reports from a government-commissioned survey, 53% of children face some form of abuse in India. The statistics of child abuse in India is baffling!
Growing complexities of life, along with changes in the socio-economic condition of the society, often lead to children being exposed to various forms of abuse. Even with the number of cases that are shooting skywards, the number of cases being legally reported is reprehensibly low.
The stigma surrounding this issue is one of the chief reasons why most incidents go unreported, and hence the child is forced to live with the engulfing memory of the cruelty. Most of the time, owing to the child’s innocence and state of vulnerability, he/she doesn’t understand that they have been mistreated or have been taken advantage of. Child abuse, thus, is the violation of a child’s fundamental human rights. They need to be protected at all costs. Laws against child abuse have been enforced but hasn’t been able to abolish the evil altogether.
Undoubtedly, taking this responsibility and aligning with laws against child abuse, Save the Children has credited itself to have transformed the lives of over 10 million underprivileged children since its inception in 2008 in India. It is rightly called the advocate for children’s rights. It has served the community by providing all socio-economically backward and vulnerable children with access to education, protection, healthcare benefits, and a chance for rehabilitation. It has also helped in protecting them against abusive and harmful environments.
Working on a global scale in more than 80 countries, Save the Children works towards a better and brighter tomorrow, making this world a better place for our children! We must unite to fight child abuse and come together to support laws against child abuse in India. Let us join forces with Save the Children in their plan to end child abuse.