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Child Abuse: Prevalence and Policies in the United Kingdom - Essay Example

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“With the acknowledgement that child abuse is a social problem, there have been increasing demands for information about its prevalence. However the definition of child abuse is a social construction and therefore statistical data are bound to be elusive and contradictory” - …
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Child Abuse: Prevalence and Policies in the United Kingdom
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Download file to see previous pages Kennedy, the 35th President of United States of America once quoted “children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for future” (www.thinkexisit.com). But what is happening to that valuable resource is a topic for serious discussion in view of the increasing child abuse cases all over the world. The world has pledged to tackle child abuse while many countries have their own policies, laws and legislations providing rights and opportunities to the children. Children day is celebrated all over the world for giving recognition the love of elders towards their children, on different days by various countries and universally on 20th November, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children (www.un.org). As this paper aims to establish a concrete evidence about the statement from Ryder et al (1993), the word ‘abuse’ needs to elaborated so as to understand what child abuse is? According to Vanessa, child and family therapist, ‘abuse is something that cannot always be seen – hurts the people on the inside and outside, and the pain feels worse when it is kept a secret’. (Gerrits and Newton, 2010). Basing on the observation made by Vanessa, it could be assumed that child abuse is a malpractice effecting their overall development in all aspects of life; both physically and mentally. However, various definitions have been strategically devised by different authors, organizations and nations to formulate policies, laws and legislations which can tackle, punish and prevent child abuse. Definitions of Child Abuse World Health Organization (WHO) Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention compared and analyzed definitions of abuse from 58 countries leading to a conclusive definition which stated that “child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/ or emotional ill – treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligible 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’. According to the Council Report by Royal College of Psychiatrists, London ‘child abuse and neglect include both acts of omission and commission in interactions between adults (or older adolescents) and children that have caused, or are likely to cause, enduring harm to the child. Above definitions have one thing in common which gives importance to negligence of children by their elders. Historical Incidence of Child Abuse Child abuse occurs in variety of forms across the world which came to be recognized only after ‘the battered child syndrome’ was coined in 1962 by Helfer, Kempe and Krugman (Devi, 2008). Child abuse happens when an adult a child trusts or depends on hurts, mistreats, or does not care for them which is against the law. Various researches have led to conclusion that child abuse can be caused by a parent, sibling, coach or a teacher as well as someone they are less close to, such as a friend’s parent (Gerrits, 2010). Violence against children has been manifested in every conceivable manner, physically, emotionally, through neglect, by sexual exploitation and by child labor. Child maltreatment or child abuse is not a new phenomenon as it existed since the beginning of recorded history which thrived in the shadows of privacy and secrecy throughout these years but only came to light due to continuous redefining and re-labeling of the concept (Helfer et al, 1999). Child maltreatment persisted in olden days when the term abuse was not even related to child. If the events of abuses on children are taken into ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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