Child Abuse Essay

2114 words - 9 pages

1.1. A traumatic event is a sudden and unexpected occurrence that causes intense fear and may involve a threat of physical harm or actual physical harm. A traumatic experience may have a profound effect on the physical health, mental health, and development of the student. Although it is not always easy to distinguish between the terms “stress” crises and “trauma”, it is useful for the educators in South African public schools to understand these terms as being on “a continuum from less severe to extreme severe” (Lewis 1999: 5).

Traumatic experience may cause ongoing feelings of concern for Tina’s own safety and the safety of others. She may become preoccupied with thoughts about her ...view middle of the document...

They may have increased difficulties concentrating and learning at school and may engage in unusually reckless or aggressive behavior.

1.2.1.
Effects of child abuse: Abuse is harmful to children. Children may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical problems and trauma as a result of being abused or neglected. Many South African children are abused and assaulted daily; some are even killed. some people do not respect the fundamental rights of others, especially those of women and children, who are usually very vulnerable(Engelbrecht & Mosiane 1997: 10)

All forms of abuse are likely to result in emotional problems for the child, in particular, a lack of self esteem and distrust of adults. The longer the abuse goes on, the more serious are the effects. Abused and neglected children are more likely than other children to be self destructive or aggressive, to abuse drugs and/or alcohol, or become young offenders or "street kids". In some situations abuse and neglect may result in permanent physical damage.
In the longer term, adults who have been abused as children are also more likely to abuse their own children and often experience difficulties in forming satisfactory relationships with other adults.

1.2.2.
Effects of sexual abuse: Sexual abuse is the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children or incent with children (Hopper 2002sn).

The effects of sexual abuse extend far beyond childhood. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt and self-abusive behavior. It can lead to antisocial behavior, depression, identity confusion, loss of self-esteem and other serious emotional problems. It can also lead to difficulty with intimate relationships later in life. The sexual victimization of children is ethically and morally wrong. (Widom CS 1999: 1223)

Child sexual abuse can occur in a variety of settings, including home, school, or work (in places where child labor is common). Child marriage is one of the main forms of child sexual abuse;

Child sexual abuse can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life. Indicators and effects include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, somatization, sleep disturbances, and dissociative and anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder. While children may exhibit regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking or bedwetting, the strongest indicator of sexual abuse is sexual acting out and inappropriate sexual knowledge and interest. Victims may withdraw from school and social...

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