What is child abuse?
Child abuse is when a parent or a caregiver whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.
We know that neglect whatever form it takes, can be just as damaging to a child as physical abuse. Over 2 million children are abused each year all over the world.
Therefore to protect children against child abuse needs collective effort from all stakeholders that is parents, teachers, house help (maids,”aunties”,”uncles”,domestic workers etc),relatives, leaders and all caregivers.
What we need to do!
We need to do the following;
- Empower the children-give appropriate information on how they can protect themselves, how to get help, how to detect abusers etc.
- Avoid leaving children with strangers, people you do not know very well and people who are too ”nice” to them.
- Be friendly to the children such that they can open up in case they are abused or about to. Answer their questions as a way of empowering them.
- Be keen on stories children tell and guide them.
- Watch their behavior.
- Get to know their character.
- Get to know their friends.
- Take them through proper sex education-Each age group with appropriate information. (God’s way).
- Supervise them. Supervise those you have left them with. Have abrupt checks on caregivers.
- Get to know what they watch, what they listen to, by interacting with them.
- Avoid taking or allowing children visit different places/homes and even sleeping over. Some of these friends or relatives could be abusing your child.
- In case of any suspicions seek professional help.