Preventing Child Abuse

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Article one of the UNICEF Children Act identifies a child as an individual under the age of 18, unless a different state has a lower legal age (UNICEF par.1). Child trafficking prevention is a top priority for numerous organizations dedicated to protecting children’s interests. Child neglect may be committed by parents, grandparents, nurses, or custodians, as well as coaches, clerics, and instructors. There are four main categories of child violence for which authorities have developed preventive measures. The first category is physical violence, which includes using physical force against children such as kicking, punching, shaking, burning, or other types of force. The second form is sexual abuse which encompasses coercing or inducing a kid to get engaged in a sexual act. Sexual abuse includes behaviors like penetration, fondling as well as the exposure of the child to other forms of sexual activities. The third form is the emotional abuse, which refers to the behavior that can harm the emotional well-being or self-worth of a child. Emotional abuse can actions like shaming, name calling, withholding love, rejection or threatening (Chaffin et al. 84).
According to a UNICEF, one out of seven children has experienced child abuse in the last one year. However, not all kids suffer abuse at an equal rate. Young kids (1-12 years old) are reported to experience the worst forms of abuse while those aged between 14-17 years’ experience non-fatal abuse (UNICEF par. 6-8). Pressman (326) notes that ethnicity, race and low family income are among the factors that influence the exposure of children to various forms of abuse. For example, a majority of the cases seem to occur among African-American children compared to the whites. It is also argued that children who live in families with low socioeconomic status experience higher rates of child abuse compared to their colleagues from well-to-do families (Shonkoff et al. 232).
Reynolds and Ou (560) suggest some of the strategies and approaches that are quite essential in the prevention of child abuse. One of the strategies is the strengthening of families’ economic status. Government agencies responsible for the enhancement of the socio-economic policies should formulate strategies aimed at the improvement of the economic status of the families. Empirical evidence indicates that low-income families face numerous challenges in educating and taking care of their children. Therefore, strengthening the financial situation of such households will help in reducing child abuse through the improvement of the ability of parent or guardian to provide the rudimentary needs of children like shelter, medical care or food. Also, strengthening of the economy ensures the growth of the children as well as improvement of mental health of parent (Chaffin et al. 87-89). The policies are essential in changing the family context through the development of a balance between family and work allowing the parents to provide necessary care for their children. Research also indicates that family-friendly work strategies lessen the risk factor of child abuse that includes depression and stress (Chaffin et al. 86).
The second strategy of preventing child abuse is the changing of social norms and embarking on supportive and positive parenting. Social norms are expectations and beliefs on how a group or members of a particular community should behave. Some of these standards relate to the safety and development of children including those that encourage breastfeeding, safe sleep, child passage, shared responsibility and talking to children. One of the social norms relevant to the prevention of child abuse relates to the disciplining of children by their parents. In addition to altering social norms linked to behavior, changing their perception on the occurrence of child abuse and their responsibility in its prevention is important (Shonkoff et al. 230).
The third strategy is the provision of quality care and early education on life matters. Early childhood education and quality childcare help in improving the cognitive, emotional, social and development of children. It increases the chances that children will experience a stable, safe and nurturing environment in the societies they live (Gordon & Lance 1942-43). Empirical evidence suggests that there is a need to ensure that children are provided with quality care. Lack of quality child care is linked to an upsurge in child abuse cases and negligence. The ability to access quality and affordable care is associated with reduced maternal depression and parental stress both which are risk factors of child mishandling. Early childhood training encompases engagement of the parent or guardian in a bid to enhance the parenting attitude and practices in the children. Also, parent involvement in the schooling of their children is of utmost importance. It is during education sessions that parents get an opportunity to develop their social connection to children (Shonkoff et al. 233).
The last strategy of preventing child abuse is the enhancement of skills to promote the healthy development of children. The association of kids with their parentages and other family members of the society plays caregivers role in the growth of the physical, emotional, social and intellectual capacity of children (Pressman 328). The empirical studies show that inadequate parenting skills lead to financial issues and make it more difficult for parents to provide nurturing and care needed for children safety, and a stable environment that protects the welfare of children.
In conclusion, children protection agencies and parents or guardians need to work hand in hand in ensuring that children rights are protected. Protection of rights includes prevention and control of child abuse. UNICEF and other organization fighting for the rights of children have been in the forefront in the fight against child abuse. The essay has discussed some of the ways in which child abuse can get prevented. Government agencies, parents, guardians, caregivers and those responsible for taking care of children ought to take these strategies into consideration.

Works Cited
Chaffin, Mark, Funderburk, Beverly, Valle, Linda & Bard, David. “A Combined Motivation and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Package Reduces Child Welfare Recidivism in a Randomized Dismantling Field Trial.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, (2011) 79.1, 84-95.
Gordon, Dahl & Lance, Lochner. “The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement. Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit.” American Economic Review, (2012) 102.5, 1927-1956.
Pressman, Steven. “Policies to Reduce Child Poverty: Child Allowances versus Tax Exemptions for Children.” Journal of Economic Issues, (2011) 45.2, 323-332.
Reynolds, Arthur & Ou, Suh-Ruu. “Paths of Effects from Preschool to Adult Well-Being: A Confirmatory Analysis of the Child–Parent Center Program.” Child Development, (2011) 82.2, 555-582.
Shonkoff, Jack, Garner, Andrew et al. “The Lifelong Effects of early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress.” Pediatrics, (2012) 129.1, 232-246.
UNICEF. The convention on the rights of the child: Guiding principles: general requirements
for all rights. 2015. Web. Accessed February 27, 2017.
https://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Guiding_Principles.pdf

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