What is Child Abuse?
Child Abuse is any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” The above definition is the Federal law definitions of child abuse and neglect.
Recognizing Child Abuse from a Biblical Point of View
In the bible Mark 9: 37, 42, shows how much emphasis Jesus placed on children. In our today’s world, physical, mental and sexual abuse are the major contemporary issues children face child, which in other words can be referred to as “Child Abuse.” And these abuses are very unpleasant and out rightly affects the overall development of the child.
Statistically, one out of three of every girl child and one out of five of every boy child are sexually abused by age eighteen. And these child abuse practices can happen in the church, in the family in any place and to anyone.
Monitoring Signs of Child Abuse in a Child
The downside to this contemporary child abuse practices is that children (for the reasons of fear and shame) often do not report most of these abuses to anyone and go on to suffer in silence. This is why adults must as a matter of care be on the alert to observe the symptoms of abuse on their children and wards. The symptoms of these abuses may be physical or behavioral—some of which include but not limited to, unexplained redness, swelling, bruises, infections, bleeding, marked change in behavior that is uncharacteristic of the child (such as reverting to bedwetting, thumb sucking, showing fear of a person or place, sleep disorders and nightmares). When some of these symptoms are observed, they are often signs of some forms of abuses, which the child is going through and it is left, for the adults taking care of the child to make a good meaning of the symptoms.
Speak Up Against Child Abuse
Because many Christians cringe on the thought of being responsible for sending another person to jail, they often disparage the effort to report the cases to the police. This may be due to the simple statistics that most abusers are often family members or people who the children trust. However, as believers we should not also forget what the bible told us in Romans 13:4. The Bible made it clear that God established civil government to punish wrongdoers and because many abusers are habitual offenders is the more reason they should be reported to the police.
How to Handle a Child that has Suffered Child Abuse
When a child has been abused, such a child should be given medical attention, this will help to establish early physical and mental damages or infections in the case of sexual abuses. In addition, this early examination will determine if the child requires therapy or professional counseling. This will help the child fight through his fears on time and regain their confidence.
Role of Parents in Fighting Child Abuse Practices
Parents and guardians should be wary of the fact that children cannot fully protect themselves and should take necessary steps to ensure the safety of their children and wards against child abuse. Steps like having a good knowledge of their baby-sitters, unscheduled drop-ins at the child’s day-care center, knowing whom and where their children play in the neighborhood, and above all be in good communication with their children to know how their daily activities went.
“And whosever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea (Mark 9:42).”