Child Abuse

"Children Do Not Deserve It!"

It is never okay to hit a child! What Iím going to tell you about is a really big issue that people seem to be forgetting about! Something more should be done. Children are dying, taking to drugs, smoking, getting seriously hurt, shutting out the world and getting in trouble. Why you ask? Two words: CHILD ABUSE! Those two words are not something people want to hear about. If people would listen and help children instead of turning away from the problem, maybe they would never have to hear those words again!

When we hear child abuse, we usually think physical abuse, but did you know there are also 3 other kinds of abuse? They are: mental abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. Yes the thought of all 4 abuses are frightening. Luckily, I donít have to deal with any of them, but there are some people not as lucky as me. I wish that I could help every child who is abused, but I cannot do it all alone. So, if we all worked together, we could stop it! But, first I would like to tell you more about the 4 different kinds of abuses.

The first and most common form of abuse is, physical. Physical abuse is an injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or, in other words, harming a child physically. Usually when a person is physically abused, he or she wants to run away from the problem. Iíve met some runaways and I tried to help them. But some children do not have anywhere to go. So they stay on the streets, begging for food and money, no one to love them. It is a sad situation to think about, but, even worse being in that position.

The second form of abuse is mental abuse. Mental abuse can come from anyone. The horrors of being called ugly, being told that no one loves you, or you are useless and have no reason to be living is what is meant by mental abuse. Mental abuse is about humiliation. Itís just so sad! Some people are told this, and often by others who supposedly love them. Usually when children are treated this way, they shut out the world. To get away, they might resort to gangs, drugs, smoking and stealing. We all need acceptance. Children who were never given a chance with no one to defend them often grow up believing just about anything.

Child neglect is something we donít hear people talk about much. Neglect abuse is when parents forget about their responsibilities. They may not provide enough food, clothes or opportunities for school. They let you do whatever you want! Some of you might think not being in school and being allowed to do whatever you want are good things. Well Iím telling you its not! No school means no education which means no job and of course, no money. It all works in together! If you always get to do whatever you want, after a while it would get dull and frightening because when you come home, no one is there for you. No one cares if you get hurt. Eventually, with little or no food, clothes or education, you would not survive!

Last but not least is sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse simply put is, the fondling of a childís private parts, rape, or the commercial exploitation through prostitution or pornography. About 1 in 3 males and 1 in 2 females are exposed to unwanted sexual acts by the age 18. Many experts believe that sexual abuse is the most under-reported form of child abuse because of the secrecy that so often characterizes these cases. If you were sexually abused, you probably would not want the world to know either!

It is not only little children who get abused, it usually ranges from the time of birth to the age 18. Sex offenders (about 28%) were abused at one time in their own lives. People sometimes use drugs to escape from the pain of the problem. A lot of people also think it just happens to girls but the abuse is almost equal to boys. A number of people are threatened not to tell, and some people just want to keep it to themselves. But the best possible thing that you can do is talk about it to someone you trust. Donít hold it all inside. You can call 1-800-668-6868.

If you know someone who is abused in anyway or is afraid, get some help. Donít promise everything you have that you wonít tell. What would you rather? A friend who is mad at you, or a friend who is safe from harm? Personally, I would tell someone as fast as I could. In the end, theyíll be glad you did. Remember, we have the power to prevent child abuse!

 

Sarah C. - Grade 8