Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Jesus valued children as persons of worth. “Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). It was Jesus’ response to his disciples when they reprimanded people for bringing children to him. Jesus also reminded those who criticized children after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem that God had ordained praise “out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants” (Matthew 21:16; Psalm 8:2).

Adults always push children aside, but Jesus made us aware of the importance of these species of human beings. For continuous existence, a child is crucial to a family, house, and nation. A country can be destroyed without warfare equipment if their little ones are killed; or eradicated, and new ones are not allowed to be born by ensuring infertility of childbearing adults. The question then is: if a child is so important, why abuse a child? The answer lies in perversion and ungodly attributes.

When a baby is born, the family is delighted and thrilled at the new addition to the family. Neighbors, friends, and relations use the opportunity to wish the family well in a joyous mood. At times the naming of the baby comes with a big party with plenty to eat and drink. The baby starts to grow and faces minor hardships. The baby begins to enjoy or suffer depending on the family and environment the baby is born. Only unplanned babies born out of pre-marital sex or out of wedlock arrive with no pomp or pleasantness. Babies generally enjoy cocktail arrival and are like salt of the earth. It is then unholy to abuse a child or subject them to abuse.

Child abusers are family, neighbors, friends, uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews, or anyone close enough to affect the child’s life. Child abuse is not only physical assault on the child. A child that is supposed to be brought up in a loving environment finds itself on a tightrope fighting for dear life. A child can be battered spiritually and bodily. Spiritual assault is more damaging because it is not easily discovered and can mar the child for life, except the grown-up child embraces Jesus Christ as Lord and Redeemer. Physical assault, which at times causes withdrawal syndrome, is easily observed and, if taken up on time, has solutions for damage repairs though some effects are the last longing.

 It is a sad irony that many abusers genuinely love their children, but they find themselves caught in life situations beyond their control, and they do not know how to cope. They are often isolated from friends and family and may have no one to give them emotional support. They may not like themselves and may not know how to meet their emotional needs. (National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse).

 The effects of abuse are devastating and produce extended-lasting negative attributes and feelings. Children that have been abused physically, sexually, or emotionally suffer a wide range of effects from their victimization. The effects produce feelings of:

  1. Guilt;
  2. Violation;
  3. Loss of Control; and
  4. Losses of esteem cause lower esteem of self.

 Despite these feelings, many problems are associated with their abuse. These problems include but are not limited to:

  1. Poor performance in school;
  2. Emotional disturbance
  3. Exposure to further abuse;
  4. Lack of Character and behavioral problems; and
  5. Low I.Q.

 Child abuse is not limited to an area or some people. It happens in all socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Abuse is a consistent and pervasive element in the backgrounds of low achievers, prostitutes, runaways, drug users/ abusers, and incarcerated individuals. Prevention is better than cure. Many abused children stand the risk of being abused repeatedly, especially when they are still exposed to the same abusers. “Love conquers all,” echoes a wise saying. In a home where love reigns, family abuse is eradicated. The fear of God in the family members exemplified in the Agape love will make it impossible for any family member to abuse another.

 The trauma and devastating effects of child abuse take their inevitable toll on society and the church. The effects escalate violence in society. Children are gifts from God and are born to grow and be nurtured in love. Children should be taught to articulate their needs and feelings for self-protection. Parental duty involves training the children to become honest citizens with an exemplary character modeled in the life of Jesus (as a child), who obeyed his earthly parents and represented all excellent virtues. Instead, children are exploited, beaten, punished, taken advantage of, manipulated, neglected, and abused till their integrity is impaired.

The children in this hostile environment cannot express their pains and anger and are compelled to suppress their feelings and the memory of the trauma. This suppression finds a window of escape in criminality; destructive acts against others or themselves like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, murder, assassination, psychic disorders, suicide, and other criminal behaviors. If you are not brought up with love, you will find it difficult to show or exhibit love. An abused parent will often direct acts of revenge against his children, which becomes a vicious cycle of abuse. A child needs an adult to believe in them. 

 A child needs protection and loves, not maltreatment. The church and society need to wake up to their roles. And stop blaming the victim but the abuser. So far, society has protected the adult from the child. It is in keeping with our great grandparents’ traditional pedagogical principles, which viewed children as crafty creatures dominated by wickedness. That has also contributed to the children blaming themselves for their parents’ cruelty. And to absolve them of all responsibility because they love their parents.

 Thanks to scientific development. It is known that a child responds to and learns tenderness and cruelty from the womb. New parents are learning to treat their babies well from the beginning, which might end the perpetuation of violence from the new generation. Those whose integrity was not damaged in childhood, protected, loved, respected, and treated with honesty by their parents will also be intelligent, responsive, empathetic, loving, kind, and highly sensitive. They will not tend to hurt anyone but rather respect and protect those weaker than themselves and will be able to handle intimidation in their adult life.

 Parental watchfulness is essential in getting outsiders not to abuse their children. The coming of the Internet and Computer has added to child abuse by promoting Child Pornography. Pornography is the treatment of sexual subjects in pictures or writing in a way that is meant to cause sexual excitement (Longman Dictionary). Children get exposed to pornography through books, photographs, films, the Internet, etc., parade nude and willing participants. The constant and consistent exposure becomes recurrent, distressing, and interferes in the child’s daily functioning. Pornography is addictive and evil.

 Parents are to protect their children from Internet abuse in sexual chatting on the net. Innocently children are lured into this unknowingly. A parent must advise their child never to give personal information on the net. Please keep your child away from the chat room. Be aware of your child’s vulnerability on the Internet. It is a well-established fact that fathers often abuse their children or stepchildren. So a mother has a double role of being a friend and confidant to her child, especially a daughter. Your daughter must have an implicit belief in you as her best friend to make her confide in you when she is sexually abused. Disbelief and distrust come between mother and daughter when you don’t communicate and are far apart. Your child should be able to talk to you. Do not play God to the detriment of your child; even God loves us and cares for children to come closer.

 The universal economic situation does not help the matter. Both parents involved in the rat race leave their children to themselves, or house-helps or at the mercy of neighbors. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” No one can fathom the deceptions of the hearts., so no one can be truly trusted. Uncles and cousins have had an incestuous sexual relationship with their female relations without the parents’ knowledge.

Some parents have expressed their frustrations with their children, subjecting them to inhuman treatment. Some parents have sent their children on errands bigger than their abilities, and failure of accomplishment on the children’s part results in physical abuse. We must learn to show and demonstrate love to our young ones. It takes only love to make children truly happy, and we are our parents’ duty to do this.

 Child abuse is terrible, and child abuse is wicked. Believers are to protect children, either theirs or others that are near. God loves us all, and it is our duty to young ones to love them and care for their welfare. Please report any child abuse case to the nearest police station to save the youngsters from a life of crime.


Leave a Reply