Sir: Child abuse isn’t yet black eyes while physical abuse is shocking due to the marks it leaves. Not all signs of child abuse are obvious; ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised dangerous situations, exposing them to sexual harassment or making them feel worthless or stupid. These are also forms of child abuse and negligence which can leave deep lasting scars on children.
An abuser may gain considerable satisfaction from this situation. It reinforces his sense of power regarding his ability to outsmart a system that is unable to act to protect victims. Contact with the victim may allow him to experience the abuse in retrospect. Victims may be visibly affected by this type of contact and the sense of powerlessness experienced by the victim may re-establish the abuser’s dominance and power over them. For a victim, the experience of seeing the abuser in a situation in which they are unable to complain and remove themselves is similar to a replay of the abusive situation.
Regardless of the abuse, the outcome is serious emotional harm but there is help available. If you suspect a child suffering from abuse or neglect, it is important to speak out. The victim must be in a position of control and strength to have a minimum potential for damage. By catching the problem as early as possible, both the child and abuser will get the help they need.
The government should put more strength into protecting children from abuses by implementing and enforcing the child right act and making sure children are being protected from abusers.
Let’s speak out to protect and save our children from abuse and negligence.
Jennifer Oliver wrote from the University of Maiduguri.