Every child deserves care and protection. Often children are not in a position to protect themselves from any harm that comes their way. It is for that reason that they should be looked after. The abuses that children face are either sexual, physical or emotional. All of the three are equally detrimental and should be looked into. The first, intimate violence refers to any sexual encounter that occurs between a minor and an adult. The assault could be by either touch or penetration of a child's genitalia. Physical abuse, on the other hand, refers to any intentional injury that results from beating, hitting, or anything that harms the child's body. Finally, the last one, emotional abuse relates to the harms that are induced to a child's psychological well-being. Considerably, detecting the occurrence of any of the trio is not quite easy unless someone watches out for the young members of the society. Social workers are better placed at identifying such conditions. They are always in contact with the community and can tell what goes on in different homes that most neighbors cannot do. Remarkably, creating an awareness of the three kinds of abuse go a long way to aid social workers in handling cases of occurrences.
Often abuses occur in the closest environment of a child. The nearest surrounding, in this consideration, is the homes from where they hail, the schools they study, and the churches they attend. It is not certain as to who is responsible for such abuses, but in their homes, abusive parents can harm a child emotionally, sexually, and physically. Physical abuse as mentioned refers to the intended injury inflicted upon a child's body. According to Child welfare information gateway (2004), such damages can be due to beating or hitting. It is the easiest form of abuse to verify. Bruises on a child's body as the primary indicators. While it is not easy to quite ascertain violence, it is arguably right to bank on a child's improper beating as abuse. In such cases as such, the best course of action is to build a relationship with a child so that they can open up and talk about their abusive homes. Further, a watchful eye can be kept on the environment these children interact with. Take the case of a drug addict parent, who after getting drunk, ends home to beat a child for no reason. Considerably, social workers come in handy at such times. Constantly working with the community, they are better placed at identifying cases.
As mentioned afore, social workers are well placed at detecting cases of physical abuse. So is it with emotional abuse. Children whose emotions are not respected often show signs of fear, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and shyness (Kemoli &Mavindu, 2014). Considerably, children need to feel loved, wanted and appreciated, and this is best fulfilled by families from which children come. Detecting abuse calls for constant communication with children such that they develop trust to talk about their families. As social workers go through their daily activities in the society, they interact with children through which they detect an emotional disturbance. On confirmation, the social worker has a role to play. Caregivers fail in their duties at times, and this does not make them abusive (Ethier, Lemelin, & Lacharite, 2004). Sometimes by educating families about their children needs, the situations are rectified. However, in cases when such cannot apply, they are at will to report the families to authorities. Further, social workers can offer counseling services to children who have undergone an emotional abuse. Remarkably, counseling goes a long way in shaping the direction of children's lives.
Another prevalent form of child abuse is sexual abuse. In the year 2014, the number of reported cases alone were 80, 000 (Norman, Byambaa, Butchart, Scott, & Vos, 2012). Molestation, as commonly known, as mentioned afore refers any undesirable sexual advances made towards a minor by an adult. The advance does not have to be penetration alone but also touch. Considerably, such advances often come from close relatives and any older people in touch with children. Children who face sexual abuses are either under threat from the perpetrators or are afraid of letting people know they have been abused sexually. Therefore, the number of unreported instances is much greater. The presence of social workers is essential in identifying cases of sexual abuse in the community. As aforementioned, the close observance enables them to identify sexual abuses while the friendships created with children in the society is essential in allowing them to open up and talk about the molestation they face.
Considerably, social work is aimed at bettering the living conditions, ranging from economic concerns to health concerns, in the society. Therefore, social workers are charged with the responsibility of seeing an equilibrium is achieved in all the factors of concern. Children's protection also falls under their duties. Through diligence and the appropriate level of care, it is easy to identify with the three cases of child abuse. While it might not be in their ability to offer protection in totality, it is easy to make known cases of such abuse such that action is taken against offenders. Conclusively, the role of social work in child abuse prevention is quite practical. Thus, remains an essential sector in preventing child abuse.
Child welfare information gateway. (2004). Risk and Protective Factors for Child Abuse and Neglect. Bulletin For Professionals.
Ethier, L., Lemelin, J., & Lacharite, C. (2004). A longitudinal study of the effects of chronic maltreatment on children's behavioral and emotional problems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28(12), 1265-1278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.07.006
Kemoli, A., & Mavindu, M. (2014). Child abuse: A classic case report with literature review. Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, 5(2), 256. http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0976-237x.132380
Norman, R., Byambaa, M., De, R., Butchart, A., Scott, J., & Vos, T. (2012). The Long-Term Health Consequences of Child Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, and Neglect: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Plos Medicine, 9(11), e1001349. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001349
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