Child maltreatment, also known as child neglect, refers to acts that are out of the ordinary and pose a severe risk of physical or emotional damage to a child. There are four types of child maltreatment, according to Gosselin (2014).
Abuse: Emotional or Physiological
Child emotional or physiological abuse is a type of behavior involving the guardians’, parents’, or other significant figures in the child’s life’s speech and acts that harm the child’s mind. Fear of one’s parents, a pessimistic attitude toward oneself, and changes in a child’s actions are only a few of the ways that violence presents itself.
Child neglect happens when parents fail to have the essentials for the child’s survival. These requirements include food, shelter, security, healthcare, and clothing. Neglect is considered the most prevalent form of child abuse; it affects about 78% of children all over the world. Some of the signs of child neglect include thinning, untreated health condition, death among others.
Physical child abuse is the deliberate (non-accidental) cause of harm a child resulting in injuries such as burns, bruises, cuts or any other form of physical impairment to the child’s body. Physical abuse can in some instances result in death. However, there are few practices that causes harm to the child’s body but are not regarded as abuse. They include coining, cupping, and moxibustion (Gosselin, 2014).
Child sexual abuse involves various forms of actions between the child and an older child or even an adult. It involves the use of force, incitement, or persuasion towards the child to perform activities categorized as sexual. Sexual abuse is of two types. The first type is contact abuse that includes physical contact between the abuser and the child. The second type is non-contact abuse which does not involve touching activities between the child and the abuser. Here the abuser employs non-touching activities such as persuading and exploiting a child to carry out sexually related acts.
Child maltreatment continues to be a significant threat to the physical and physiological development of a child. Every society needs to be enlightened on dangers posed by child abuse on the later life of the child; this way, they will take up arms and be on the front line in the fight against child abuse.
Gosselin, D. K. (2014). Heavy hands: An introduction to the crimes of intimate and family violence. London: Pearson.