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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

An expository on Child Abuse and its consequences

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Written by: Muoka Chibuzor. G BSc
Contributor: Dr Peter Chimnuolumogu


(This article was first written by Muoka.C.G as "The Menace Child Abuse" in June 2019, and it was reviewed by Muoka.C.G and Dr Peter Chimnuolumogu on January 20th 2020)

Once upon a time, a day came when men were embittered with the issue of childlessness. They were so troubled and could not sleep, thus they were forced to plead with the Creator of the universe – the giver of children. After several years of prayer, the Creator replied them saying: “I have seen an evil that haunts the innocent infants of man. Child abuse is an ungodly and inhumane act. Humans are warned to desist from it!” Having heard the unhappy and admonishing words of the creator, all the guilty men, acknowledged their mistake and sought forgiveness. When the Creator saw the sincerity of their hearts and their attainment of maturity, He forgave them and blessed them with the priceless gift of a child.

According to Wikipedia, child abuse is defined as physical, sexual, and psychological maltreatment; including the neglect of a child or children, especially, by a parent or a caregiver. It is crystal clear that the result of child abuse is of great harm to both the victim and society. The aftermath of child abuse psychologically programs innocent children to perceive the world as evil and inhabitable. Life becomes insipid, and presents no meaning, as the victims languish in intimidation and perpetual fear. Cribs of child abuse have been the breeding grounds of monsters.

Coming down to Africa and Nigeria in particular, the prevalence of child abuse is spreading as fast as a bacterial infection. If one can harness the power of imaginations and actually transform into a powerful housefly and then visit numerous Nigerian homes, it would be heartbreaking to discover that children are being maltreated in diverse manners that evoke anger and pity. All in the name of housemaid service, naive young girls and boys who were brought to the city from rural communities are being intimidated and molested by mature men and women who assumed the paramount position of being their guardian and provider. To these children, their guardians are the only God they see and would voluntarily worship.

Some children are being sent to the streets to hawk, instead of being sent to school to learn. During the day and night, they walk about hopelessly both under the sun and rain. In the process, the child is predisposed to several vicious predators in human stature, and this includes the bloodthirsty kidnappers and ritualists. Some are even sold into slavery, and when they got to foreign lands, they experience the harshest conditions of life and are forced to look up to the sky with tears in their eyes and then question God with their palms facing the clouds.

Certain parents and guardians have broken the camel’s back by meting out punishments of inhumane nature to children. A certain lady was once caught applying fresh pepper to the eyes, nose, and genitals of her six-year-old house girl, and when her actions were questioned, she audaciously said; “I warned her and she woke up ten minutes past five’ O clock instead of exactly five’ O clock.”

In the end, these victims of child abuse often suffer from severe psychological insults and then they often decide to mingle and befriend several deviants of the society who would lure them into immorality by promising them evil in the guise of a bright future. Victims of severe child abuse hardly understand that all that glitters are not gold, thus when deceived, they easily metamorphose into monsters due to the deadly impacts of abuse in their delicate lives; and whereby they join the bad eggs of the society, they would work against the peaceful interest of the society, in a bid to reiterate for the evil they had experienced.

Health-wise, the impact of abuse in the lives of children is as deadly as the widely acclaimed suicide agent called “Sniper.” The child in due course experience health challenges which begins from physical injury resulting from e.g., rape (sexual abuse), to psychological injury which presents mostly with depression e.g., any girl who gets pregnant from sexual abuse will be saddened, then to disease exposure e.g., venereal disease contraction in the case of rape victims, and finally the expression of various post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) coupled with bipolar disorder possibility and psychiatry and psychological problems.

Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) is a serious condition that develops after a person has witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm or threatening occurred. Victims of PTSD, which includes children may present with reactions such as shock, addictions, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. All these reactions keep occurring in severe cases, and such children may suffer from delayed development in areas that have to do with learning. 

PTSD can as well trigger a mental health condition called bipolar disorder, which refers to a mental illness marked by extreme changes in mood from high (mania) to low (depression) and vice versa, and sometimes maybe mixed.

From a sociological perspective, the devastating effect of child abuse is paramount when it begins to affects the social life of the child. Thus the child becomes a societal nuisance. This is because the child becomes deficient of the normal social acumen required to initiate social interaction, which is based on the principles of behaviourism which supports the notion that “behave is what organisms do.” 

Several individuals who experienced continuous sexual abuse in childhood and thought it was just fun, get older and still find it difficult to restrict themselves from promiscuity. This has lead to the emergence of adults who indulge in indecency and gross immorality. the girls become prostitutes and the boys advance in womanizing. Trying to caution them, mostly proves abortive, unless a strong consequence results, which then serves as a life lesson to them.

Since the family as the smallest unit of the society could be corrupted by the cankers of child abuse, it directly infers that the society and the nation at large are being held to ransom by unprecedented human subjugation. And if nothing is done about this, then the populace must be trekking ignorantly on the primitive path of human slavery. Consequently, the craves of man for human civilization and life modernization would hold no water and speak no volumes.

Let’s recall some excerpts from the words of Martin Luther King Jr. (on 28th August 1963)
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal." “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” If we all concur with the words of Martin Luther King Jr, the issue of child abuse can easily be put to rest.

However, several measures must be put in place to nip the ugly menace of child abuse in the bud. Firstly, a sensitization program must be carried out in every stratum of society to enlighten the populace on the karma of child abuse. Secondly, the government must institute stringent laws against child abuse to strengthen the rights of children and safeguard their bright future. Thirdly, the anti-child abuse laws must be enforced ruthlessly by concerned law enforcement agencies instituted by the government to bring culprits to book. Fourthly, both private and government hospitals with assistance from Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs) should be well equipped with qualified personnel who can help restore the dignity of mankind when the issue of child abuse unabatedly rears its ugly heads. The religious leaders are not left out on this course as they have a greater role to play in helping the members of the society to remember that God created all human the same, and his creations we must not abuse.

In conclusion, child abuse is of great consequences to the growth of any nation. And the greatest of all evil would only occur when good people sit and watch as evil thrives like a seed sown in fertile lands. Watching evil is consent in silence. Thus every hand must be on deck as the war against child abuse is waged without end.



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1 comment:

  1. Of course, this problem needs our immediate attention, as there are a lot of circumstances under which innocence children become latent.

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