Kids don’t lie..
Child abuse is a serious issue and our society is plagued with it. Child abuse is not just physical, but it can be emotional, sexual and even when the person who is responsible for taking care of the child, ignores him or her or mistreats the child. A single sign of mistreatment is not child abuse. But If the mistreatment is happening repeatedly then it is child abuse.
The latest data by National Crime Records Bureau reveals the shocking number of 25% of rapes in children in year 2015 were committed by their employers or co workers. Surprisingly, ratio of women who were sexually abused were much lower to the ratio of males.
Interestingly, 488 cases saw the victim raped by grandfathers, brothers, fathers and even sons. At 55% and 49% respectively, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat reported the highest number of child workplace sexual abuse cases. The number of cases registered for child abuse raised from 8,904 in the year 2014 to 14,913 in the year 2015, under the POSCO Act. Sexual offences and kidnapping account for 81% of the crimes against minors.
These numbers shows that child abuse is a serious issue in our society. These were the cases which were reported. But many doesn’t even come to notice or parents don’t report them to save guard their image in society. It happens at every socioeconomic level and across country, irrespective of the level of education.
Because of child neglect, mal treatment and abuse the child may suffer from cognitive delays, emotional difficulties, poor development of immune system, and severe health and emotional problems as adults. It is important to recognize, help prevent and report suspected child abuse and neglect because its lasting effects can impact us all.
Diagnosing abuse or neglect could be a challenging task. A careful evaluation needs to be done of the situation, which also includes physical and psychological tests. If severe, state authorities may also get involved to investigate the suspected.
A proper physical examination needs to be done where the injuries are are evaluated. A detailed case history about the child, his mental and developmental history is taken from various sources. Child’s behaviour is put under observation. The interaction between the child and his caregiver or parents is also analysed.
Treatment comprises of medical care, psychotherapy and provide proper information to the child and parents so that the abuse doesn’t take place further and the long term physical and psychological consequences can be dealt with properly.
If the child has any signs of injury or a change in consciousness immediate medical help is required. Follow ups with doctor and other medical professional is advised.
Child abuse can be a very traumatic incident for the abused and may have various psychological and emotional effects on the child. Talking to a mental health professional can help the child to re build his or her trust as generally it’s seen after the abuse the child may face trust issues. Also, how he or she can develop normal relations again which is very crucial for his future. And most importantly, it will help the child to build her or his self esteem, confidence and teach conflict management.
There are different kinds of therapy which may be part of a treatment plan. Some of them could be:
- Trauma focused cognitive behaviour therapy : this particular therapy is very beneficial to the child as it helps him or her to manage his or her conflicts and distressing feelings. It also helps them to deal with their bad memories related to the trauma. It also helps the child to develop a trusting relation with the parent who has not abused him or her and with elders in general.
- Interpersonal therapy: this child parent psychotherapy helps the child by improving the parent child relationship. The goal of the therapy is to build a strong attachment, trust, better communication patterns between the two of them.
- EMDR: This particular therapy is very useful to deal with post traumatic stress disorder. It helps the child to deal with the distressing memories of the abuse.
Psychotherapy also can help parents:
- Discover the roots of abuse
- Learn effective ways to cope with life’s inevitable frustrations
- Learn healthy parenting strategies
How can we support a child cope with child abuse?
If a child tells you he or she is being abused, take the situation seriously. The child’s safety is most important. Here’s what you can do:
- Remind the child that he or she isn’t responsible for what has happened. Remind him this over and over again as most of the times the child feels that they must have done something wrong and that’s why they were abused.
- Trust the child: this is the most important thing. Many a times it has been seen that when the child confines in his parents, parents because of denial or the due to fear of ruining one’s reputation in society doesn’t believe what the child is complaining about. Assure the child that it’s ok and safe to share what has happened with him or her to you. Listen to what he has to say instead of investigating. Be a patient and calm listener and don’t ask direct or intimidating questions which may close up the child altogether.
- Report the abuse: never try to hide the cases of abuse, no matter who ever close or distant was involved in it. Let the police department of child protection agencies take the lead and investigate ether entire situation and take steps.
- Protect the child: separate the environment of the child and the abuser. If the child’s abuser is from school, inform the higher authorities and principal. If one of the parents or closed family member is involved, avoid letting that person come in contact with your child or always be around your child in case they come together.
If you think you know someone who might be at the risk of abusing a child or a child who has been neglected or abused, contact us at www.mindyog.com or 9073372300 for child abuse counselling and therapy.
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Phone: 090733 72300