7.6 billion people are living in this world out of which 27% are children below the age of 15. That means there are roughly 1.9 billion children in this world. And it has been said many times over that the children are the future, so it is our duty and responsibility to give a proper care and upbringing to the children. But with the growing population, a negative line is drawn, meaning there are more cases of child abuse and violence filed every year.
Child abuse, rape, molestation, and violence has always been a significant problem all over the world. From under-developed countries to highly-developed ones, child abuse is an issue that is spreading like wildfire. Even though many organizations are working continuously for the welfare of the children, there are no signs of improvement.
In the US alone, between 4-7 children lose their lives every day to child abuse and neglect. According to childhelp.org, there is a report of child abuse made every ten seconds. Here arises the question “what have we done so far to protect our so-called future and what further steps are taken to improve the situation and decrease the child abuse rate?”.
One child gets raped in every three minutes in South Africa. More than 48,000 rape cases recorded from 2001 to 2011 in India. In 2011 alone 3,172 rape cases were filed countrywide in Zimbabwe. There were 18,915 cases registered in the UK, and one in every 20 children have had experienced contact sexual abuse. And a report found that 16% of young people in the US, aged 14-17 had been sexually victimized in 2010 alone. These figures are from the countries with the highest rates of child sexual abuse, and the surprising thing is that most of these children were abused by someone they know.
Child abuse and violence comes with a bigger after effect. From physical to mental and psychological instability, a child can suffer severe pain throughout their life. When a child that was abused is neglected, they start showing different signs that they are physically or mentally unfit. They develop severe mental problems such as depression, anxiety, dissociation, hyper-vigilant, etc. It is even possible for them to develop behavioral changes such self-harm, eating disorders, attachment disorder, drug and alcohol use, etc. Here is a small clip of a girl named Beth who suffers from attachment disorder as a result of abuse at an early age by her biological father.
In the video, she admits that she has tried several times to kill her younger brother and even her parents. The footage is from the 1990 documentary “Child of Rage” and it is a perfect example of the aftermath of child abuse.
What the above information depicts is that no matter how poor or developed a country is, until and unless the people are not aware regarding child sexual abuse, the rates won’t slow down. More importantly, the victims need a voice, and we should be able to provide it to them. Every child needs to feel safe in their own homes, schools, and neighborhoods. They need proper care and nurture just so they can grow up to become a better human.