Title: Child Abuse1.0. The introduction to our project. Recently, cases on child abuse getting worse. According to data from the Malaysian Department of SocialWelfare, in 2008, child abuse reports rose to 2,780 from 2,279 in 2007 and 1,999 in 2006. This means, anaverage of 7 children in Malaysia were reported to be victims of child abuse every single day in 2008. Thisincreasing pattern is very worrying. Concerning to this, we had decided to choose child abuse as our topic inthis project. One of the world organizations that related to this issue is World Health Organization. The World HealthOrganization is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nation system. It isresponsible for providing leadership on global health matters. World Health Organization state that thegeneral definition of child abuse is all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglector other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child health, survival, development ordignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Malaysia has much organization that involves in child abuse matters including government organizationor non-government organization. Malaysian Department of Social Welfare, The Ministry of Women, Familyand Community Development, Childline Malaysia and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) are some examplesof organization that involve in child abuse problem. One law of Malaysia that gives protection to children isChild Act 2001. Malaysia‟s Child Act 2001 is a Laws of Malaysia relating to the care, protection andrehabilitation of children and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental there to. The objective of this project is to introduce the types of child abuse and to give knowledge about theeffect/consequences of child abuse. We also want to achieve the objective of this project which is tocompare and evaluate the data from two articles.2.0 Types of child abuseThe first point we would like to discuss is the types of child abuse. There are 4 types of child abuse; physicalabuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. These 4 types of child abuse are being differentiated bytheir specific definition and example. The first type of child abuse is physical abuse. We known that the physical abuse is the common sign thatwe can see in the abuse cases. The first aspect that will be discussed about physical abuse is the definition ofphysical abuse. The definition of physical abuse in article A is described as situation in which a childsustains injury due to willful acts of an adult. In article B, the definition of physical abuse includes anyactions that harm a person‟s body. Next, let‟s discuss the second aspect of physical abuse which is about the examples of physical abuse.Article A give the examples of physical abuse by acts are hitting, biting, kicking or slapping. By the way, onthis article also have examples of physical abuse by using objects that are using belts, sticks or rods. ArticleB state that the examples of physical abuse are punching, striking, kicking, shoving, slapping, burning,pulling ears or hair, stabbing, chocking, belting or shaking.
By viewing on the aspects of the two different article we can comment of the content that the articleA state that physical abuse will happen if an adult is willing to do it means willful acts which is contra to thearticle B. Article B state that a child is abuse physically from any action that could harm them; regardless theabuser willing to do it or accidentally harm them. Other than that, both articles also have slightly differentway when listing the effects of physical abuse. The examples of physical abuse from article A is divided tothe two parts that are by acts and by objects but not for article B. On top of that, both articles give the sameexamples of physical abuse. We believe that physical abuse is about physical aggression directed to a child by an adult. Article Bstate that physical abuse includes any action that could harms a person‟s body but article A said that aperson is charged to do physical abuse only if the child sustains injury due to willful acts. From our pointview, the word “willful acts” in article A and “any action in” the article B have many effects to thedefinition. If we refer to the article B, a person will be charged to do physical abuse if a child is harm even theaction was an accident which is not meant by the person. We believe that this is not so practical definitioncompared to the definition from article A. Accurately, article A state the condition of the abuser and child.Obviously, the child need to sustain injury and the abuser is willing to do it for a physical abuse to happen.What if a person does not have any intention to harm the child? Does he really need to receive the samepunishment same as the real abuser? We should consider this situation so that a justice can be achieved notonly for the child but for the accidentally abuser too. Next, the second type of child abuse is emotional abuse. We also discuss on the two different articles andon two aspects on the emotional abuse. The first aspect of emotional abuse is the definition of emotionalabuse. In article A, the definition of emotional abuse includes anything that is said or done to hurt a child‟sfeeling or self-esteem. For the article B said, the definition of emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child‟s emotionaldevelopment. The second aspect of emotional abuse is the examples of emotional abuse. In the article A, it states theexamples of emotional abuse are threatening a child, confining a child in a small place, severe verbal abuseand so on. Then, in article B said the examples of emotional abuse are destruction of personal belonging,excessive criticism, routine labeling or humiliation and others. Viewing on the two article, we comment of the content that the article A only state the emotionalabuse will happen if a child‟s feeling or self-esteem is hurt due to anything that is said to the child. On top ofthat, article B has a specific definition of emotional abuse. In article B state that the emotional abuse willhappen only if the abuser persistently abuses the child emotionally and might cause severe and persistenteffects on the child‟s emotional development. We believe that negative words can hurt children feelings such as telling a child he or she is „nogood‟, „worthless‟, „bad‟, or „ a mistake‟. From our point view, definition of emotional abuse from article Bis more practical than article A. the word “persistent ill-treatment” in definition of article B gives a value ofthis definition. In addition, the definition from article B gives us guide how to diminish between emotional abuseand others harsh things that could be said to children. A person can only being charged to doing emotionalabuse only if he or she persistently doing any emotional ill-treatment to the child and it might cause severeeffects on the child‟s emotional development. Therefore, any person is to be said doing emotional abuse if
they constantly keep repeating doing things that can cause severe effects on the child‟s emotionaldevelopment. In reality, if you‟ve been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good, itis very difficult to overcome these core feelings. You may experience them as reality and get along with it.Adults may not strive for more education, or settle for a job that may not pay enough, because they don‟tbelieve they can do it or are worth more. Third type of child abuse is sexual abuse. Article A state that the definition of sexual abuse is a form ofchild abuse in which an adolescent abuse a child for sexual stimulation. While article B define sexual abuseas forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child isaware of what is happening. Second aspect of sexual abuse that will be discussed is the examples of sexual abuse. Article A lists theexamples of sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities, indecentexposure of the genitals to a child or displaying pornography to a child. While article B state that theexamples of sexual abuse include penetrative acts (rape or buggery) and include non-contact activities suchas involving children in looking at or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexualactivities or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. From our point of view, the definition of sexual abuse from article B has more information than article A.Article B state that sexual abuse will happen whether or not the child is aware of what is happening butarticle A did not mention about this at all. Same goes to the way of listing the examples which article Bdivide them into two parts. In article B, the examples is divided into two; penetrative acts and non-contactactivities but not in article which only listing the examples. We believe that, definition of sexual abuse within children is when an older child, a youth or an adult usesa child for his or her own sexual gratification. This includes incest. Incest with children is when the child issexually violated by a parent, older sibling, and other relative or other significant person in the child‟sfamily life. We can also classify this sexual abuse into two parts, which are contact sexual abuse and non-contactsexual abuse. The examples of contact sexual abuse are the children are forced to watch sexual acts, listen tosexual talk and look at sexual parts of the body. Meanwhile, the examples of non-contact sexual abuse arethe children being touched and fondled in sexual areas, including kissing. Besides, the children are forced todo oral sex-oral sex is when the mouth comes in contact with the penis, or the vagina. The difference between both articles can be obviously seen as article B did mention about the conditionof the child itself. This little difference can cause a huge effect to this issue as this is a very serious issuenowadays. Strongly, article B state that a person can been charged to doing sexual abuse whether the childaware or not what happen to them. We think that this is the most appropriate definition. A child may notaware that they are abuse sexually (unconscious due to drugs or fainted or do not have clue what happen tothem) and do not feel any pain but regardless this, it still consider as a sexual abuse.
Finally, the fourth type of child abuse which is neglect. We also discussed on two aspects which is thedefinition and examples. Definition of neglect given by article A is where the responsible adult does notprovide adequately for various needs. While Article B defines neglect as the persistent failure to meet achild‟s physical and psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child health ordevelopment. Next, we move to the second aspect discussed which is the examples of neglect. From Article A,examples of neglect are not enrolling a child in a school, not taking the child to the doctor or not providingnurturing or affection. While Article B state that the examples of neglect are ill and lacking essential medicalcare, failing to attend school regularly and malnourished, ill-clad, dirty and without proper shelter orsleeping arrangement. From our point of view, definition of neglect from article B is more detailed than article A. Article Bstressed that neglect will only happen if an adult persistently fail to meet a child‟s needs while article A onlystate that neglect can happen if an adult does not provide adequately for various needs to a children. Theword persistent in the definition from article B means that neglect will only happen if an adult fail to meet achild‟s needs more than one time and this failure keep repeating We believe that definition from article B is more acceptable than article A. Once again, the word„persistent‟ give a huge difference between these two definitions. Other than that, the practicalities of thedefinition from article B can be clearly seen as it mention the condition of the child. The child needs to be inserious impairment of the child health or development. There exist many situations that can be considered as neglect. Neglect occurs when a parent or otherprimary caretaker chooses not to fulfill their obligations to care for, provide for, or adequately supervise andmonitor the activities of their child. Parental and caregiving obligations include the physical, emotional andeducational well-being of the child. Thus, neglect can also occur when the parent or caretaker does not seekadequate medical or dental care for their child. Another definition of neglect is when the parent does notprovide sufficient food, clothing, or shelter. Parents are also expected to provide for the emotional needs of the child. Thus, neglect can occurwhen parent abandon the child, or simply have no time to spend with the child, in essence leaving the childto raise himself. If the child is actually left without supervision, this certainly constitutes neglect as well. The final feature of neglect includes educational neglect, which often occurs when one child isresponsible for other children in the family. Shifting the responsibility of caring for younger children toanother child in the family prevents the caregiving from participating in age-appropriate activities forthemselves, such as attending school. This is a relatively common situation that makes it difficult for theoldest-and perhaps all of the children attending school.
3.0 The consequences / Effect of child abuseThe impact of child abuse is, of course, far greater than its immediate, visible effects. It is associated withshort-term and long-term consequences that may include brain damage, developmental delays, learningdisorders, problems forming relationships, aggressive behaviour, and depression. Additionally, child abusecan lead to death. Unfortunately, we‟ve all come across reports on children dying from the injuries sustainedfrom being abused.Even is a child survives the abuse and neglect, he or she may be at greater risk for problems later in life suchas low academic achievement, drug use, teen pregnancy, and criminal behaviour. Later on, this affects notjust the child and family, but society as a whole.First of all, as mention earlier we can classify the effect of child abuse into two which is physical andemotional/psychological effect. If a child is being abused physically, we can notice the sign of abuse on thechild‟s body. However, if a child not being abused physically, it is very hard to find the proof either theyexperience an abuse or not. On top of that, a child that being abused emotionally might show us some signsthat they are being abused. a) Effect on a physical of a child. Before we take a deep looking on the effect of a child abuse physically, let revise about the type of childabuse and some examples that might cause a child injured physically. From 4 types of child abuse discussedearlier; physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect mostly will showed some physical effect on the child. Article A state that the effects on physical of the child are likely to receive bone fractures, particularly ribfractures, may have a higher risk of developing cancer, can be relatively minor (bruises orcuts),severe(broken bones, hemorrhage, or even death),shaken baby syndrome and impaired braindevelopment. On the other hand, Article B only stated that the effects on physical of the child are death,behavioral problems and drug taking. From our point of view, Article A explains the effect of child abuse on physical of the child by listingdiseases that might receive by an abused child. Article A explain to us how child abuse may cause cancer,hemorrhage, shaken baby syndrome, impaired brain development and even death. While article B only statethat child abuse may cause death, behavioral problems and drug taking. The way we see these both articles is article A was elaborate clinically while article B explain the effectof child abuse generally based on what public generally know. This may due to the effect of the backgroundof the author for these both articles. Article A was written by three authors which have a very wideexperience in health issue (Dr. Segal, Joanna Saisan and Melinda smith) while article B which is written bytwo expertises in psychological and social issues (Beth M. Schwartz-Kenney, Michelle McCauley). Thoseauthors might have different way of thinking as they were in two different fields which are medical andpsychological. From our view, all these effects may not be seen just like that. Sometimes, a child has been told orfrightened by the abuser to not tell anyone else about what happen to them. As the effect is physically, wecould see some signs on the child that indicate that the child is being abused. Some signs that we canobserve are frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts, or cuts, injuries appear to have a pattern such asmarks from a hand or belt, shies away from touch, flinches at sudden movements, or seems afraid to gohome, wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as long-sleeved shirts on hot days, Hygiene isconsistently bad (unbathed, matted and unwashed hair, noticeable body odour), untreated illnesses andphysical injuries, trouble walking or sitting.
b) Effect on the emotional/psychological of a child All types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, butemotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child‟s sense of self, ability to havehealthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school. Article A state that the effects on emotional/psychological of a child are at risk of developing psychiatricproblems and post-traumatic disorder (PTSD and health inequality). While Article B state that the effects ofemotional/psychological of a child are fearfulness, depression, aggression, low self-esteem and psychiatricproblems.We can see that Article A explain the effect of child abuse emotionally by divide it to two main effects.Article A state that two main effects of child abuse emotionally is psychiatric problems and post-traumaticdisorder compare to article B which only lists the effects. Article B state that the effects of child abuseemotionally are fearfulness, depression, aggression, low self-esteem and psychiatric problems. From our point of view, once again the backgrounds of the authors give the effect to the bothexplanations on the effects on emotional. Authors of article A which come from medical backgroundcomfortably listing the effect with scientific medical-terms. On the other hand, the authors for article Bexplain the effects of child abuse on emotional of a child by using general terms which can be generallyknown by the public. Although medical and psychological fields are quite same but they have differentviews. We believe that child abuse is not always obvious especially if it is an emotional abuse. It‟s important todig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behaviour and warning signs, if you notice something off. Someof the signs are excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong. An abused childmight shows extremes in behaviour (extremely compliant or extremely demanding; extremely passive orextremely aggressive) or doesn‟t seem to be attached to the parent or caregiver. In our opinion, the effect of child abuse should include the long-term effect. A children not only sufferfrom the physical and mental cruelty of child abuse, they also endure many long-term consequences. Onecan never imagine what it is really like for the child, who is at risk to many behavioural and emotionalproblems. Emotional consequences may include apathy, depression, hostility or stress, lack ofconcentration, eating disorders, self-harm, feeling powerless, betrayed and stigmatised. An abused victim would feel uncared for, confused, rejected, deserted. They are also more likely tobecome abusers and have mental difficulties, which could lead to violent criminal activity in the future. Finally, child abuse did cause many bad effects to the child. Whether it is physical, emotional, sexual orneglect abuse; the effects are very bad.The UN Secretary General‟s Study reveals that the physical,emotional and psychological scars of violence can have severe implications for a child‟s development,health and ability to learn. Findings from the Study indicate that experiencing violence in childhood isstrongly associated with health risk behaviours later in life such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse,physical inactivity and obesity. In turn, these behaviours contribute to some of the leading causes of diseaseand death, including cancers, depression, suicide and cardiovascular disorders.
4.0 The conclusion for our project. Our project paper already covers on the definition of child abuse, types of child abuse and theeffects/consequences of child abuse. The definition of child abuse is extract from the World HealthOrganization (WHO) and Laws of Malaysia (Child Act 2001). There are 4 types of child abuse; physicalabuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. All 4 types of child abuse have their specific definitionand examples. Child abuse affected a child by two ways. A child may affect physically andemotionally/psychologically. There are several types of child abuse, but the core element that ties them together is the emotional effecton the child. Children need predictability, structure, clear boundaries, and the knowledge that their parentsare looking out for their safety. Abused children cannot predict how their parents will act. Their world is anunpredictable, frightening place with no rules. Whether the abuse is a slap, a harsh comment, stony silence,or not knowing if there will be dinner on the table tonight, the end result is a child that feel unsafe, uncaredfor, and alone. From our point of view, this cruel act is an unusual human behavior. People who physically abuseanother person may have serious problem such as mental illness or overstress. Other than that, sexualabuse is the most destructive acts to a child. Children that have sexual abuse history will live in this blackmemory for the whole of their life. We believe that emotional abuse is also one of the destructive abuses that should not experience by anychild in this world. This is because it negatively changes how a child feels about himself/herself, since it isrelated to psychiatric problems. This negative thinking will affect them until they grown up. In our opinion, people should open their eyes and take seriously this issue. Child abuse is a very seriousissue as it can cause severely injured or even killed. We can‟t consider this as family problem anymore. Weshould consider this as a national problem that should be taken seriously by everyone in every country in theworld. We should find a way that can prevent this issue to become worse. World should unite and togetherfind a solution to this problem. Do a campaign, post as many as possible of commercial advertisement sothat our community will be more aware on this issue.