By Folushola Balogun
Child abuse is an issue that’s sadly still plaguing the world we live in today, we must, however, try as much as possible as human beings to tackle this evil in our society, and to do that understanding is expedient, that’s why we must understand the two words that make the topic, “child” and “abuse”.
The first question to ask is not “what” but “who is a child?” notable dictionaries, Longman, Miriam Webster, Oxford, etc have defined “a child is basically a young “human being” below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority, which in most countries today is 18 years, where they are being classified as minors.
Abuse, on the other hand, is a term used to define a corrupt practice or simply put “improper treatment”
Therefore Child Abuse is the simply improper treatment of a young human being below legal age.
W.H.O defines Child Abuse “as all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”. This definition establishes that there are types of child abuse, Physical, Emotional, Sexual, etc
Let’s take a look at the year 2015 where the “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund” recorded that 1 in 4 female children and 1 in 10 male children in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before 18. Globally, in countries like the U,S, one-year period, 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized.
A global self-study report shows that 20% of adult females and between 5-10% of adult males could recall a childhood sexual assault incident. These aren’t just “statistics”, they are simply more than enough evidence to show that even history has being stained by this vile impurity. Child sexual abuse is physical, emotional, physiological woven into one, raping a child is not an expression of sexuality; it’s just a sick act of violence and contempt.
There have been cases where children have become victims of their own parents, this is just the “ultimate betrayal”. It not only tramples upon the child’s self-esteem, but the mental ability is also affected. A child should be in a loving environment provided by a Legal Guardian according to Law, but instead of providing the essentials that they need, they end up getting embarrassed and scared for life, although, some eventually are able to move on in their later years.
Although, laws have always been put in place against this crime, but that hasn’t made these evil doers rethink their actions, so it’s up to us as human beings to play our parts in eradicating the occurrence by making sure we protect our future hope, because that’s what our children of today are.
Folushola Balogun is a Mass Communication student at Crown Hill University. She loves Writing, singing and cooking. She is also a Christian and loves praying a lot