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Look at your body, is it adorned with numerous hues of black and blue?
Look back at your childhood; do you merely remember the stroke of a fist or the lullaby of an argument?
Look into your heart, does there exist a hole where a parents’ love and respect belongs?
Look into your soul; is it fair that a child in the world can answer these questions with a yes?
In some cultures the abuse of children is a taboo, and rightly so. Yet, in some cultures the disciplining of a child is not only allowed and embraced, but is a social obligation. An example of such a country (or rather culture) is India, where although there exist laws against child abuse, it is still widely acceptable to hit children as a form of punishment. India like many other countries faces the obstacle of passing laws that do not go against their people’s culture but defend the right‘s of those of which are not deemed respectable in the eye of some people. So, then is it correct for a government to intervene in matters regarding child abuse if it would go against that peoples’ culture? Are laws prohibiting child abuse enough, when this form of ‘chastisement’ have been in use throughout many generations of families?
In some cases, laws alone are not enough to convince the public that child abuse is incorrect, especially if they have been taught, since birth, that it is correct. People should be informed of the reasons why this is not an effective way to reprimand their child. This could be as easily accomplished through a short class, article, television program or commercial on the effects child abuse may have on children. If people were to be educated on the psychological damage and consequences of childe abuse, some parents would perhaps attempt to restrict themselves. Parents in most cultures admonish their children in this way, because they love them and truly believe that through this type of harsh punishment the children will be better off. If parents were to realize that hitting their child could do more damage than it can do good, at least in some cases, the child abuse would stop. Furthermore, many parents in and out of the United States, become utterly and completely frustrated with their child and do not know how to efficiently handle the situation and therefore resort to hitting the child. With resources concerning methods on how to manage your child when in a tough situation, parents will be more prepared for when something infuriating happens involving their son or daughter.
Yet, some people would say that this would not solve anything at all, since parents that do not care to change or learn about child abuse, will refuse to absorb any information. As well as the fact that most no one would be willing to take time out of their schedules to attend one of these seminars or participate in other alternatives. Yes, it is true that someone that does not care will not attend the classes or even bother to learn more on the topic. This attempt to educate parents will be aimed at adults that genuinely love their child and would do anything to have their child excel. This is not for those parents who could care less whether they had children or not. Additionally, there are other options besides having adults attend certain seminars, there could be annual articles on child abuse throughout the year in various newspapers or on online media outlets. Even something as simple as a website could be instituted to educate those that truly want to learn.
These laws and educational means must exist not only to inform parents of the effects of child abuse but also to prevent it. For many people the line between child abuse and a slap on the wrist is blurred and unclear. As one of the biggest issues concerning child abuse, is that few can differentiate between reprimanding a child and out right beating them. So what constitutes as child abuse? Few parents know that child abuse is not only physical but also refers to the emotional abuse. This could include negligence, inappropriate yelling(cursing, constantly lowering the child’s self esteem), and things of this sort that could endanger a child’s emotional welfare. Another component of child abuse covers sexual abuse (although this is not usually treated as child abuse).
Although there are some people that would argue that children are too overprotected, it is only reasonable that the stronger, protect the rights of the meek. Children in the past had close to nothing in regards to rights. Impoverished children were usually treated worse than dogs, and it is only thanks to recent efforts that children have the rights they currently possess. Precisely how children have the right to an education and a work-free childhood, they should have the right, rich or poor, American or not, to healthy living conditions, a pair of loving parents, and a stable environment.
Still, in many countries throughout the world, governments do not wish to get too involved with child abuse as it can cause uprisings amongst the people as a result of people believing the government has no right to control their way of life. Though when discussing the abuse of children one usually thinks immediately of India, India is not one of the only countries unsure about child abuse. Many African, Hispanic, South American, Asian, and even a few European countries are still undecided. Some of these countries will even argue that they do indeed have laws against child abuse and that they are not to blame that the people do not adhere to them. Yet, a law that is not enforced, is not a law but merely a joke and is never taken seriously by the people. A law is merely the means by which an action or movement can be formed against a certain something in a justified manner. Without the movement, without the government to implement the laws they will be ignored and life will go on as it always has. Millions of dollars and thousands of soldiers are used to support wars that the world would be better off without. So is a few thousand dollars and a couple hundred soldiers and policemen too much to spend on the future world leaders? Or would it be better to have the belief that child abuse is solely a basic form of discipline and not an exceptionally damaging and shameful part of culture?
Ignoring the problem is not an option, yet it seems that to some politicians and diplomats playing nice with other countries and ignoring the issue (when the U.S.A. is not concerned) is better than enforcing what they so rigorously preach back in the United Sates. Every child should be entitled to the protection of the law from the injustices concerning child abuse. No child should be able to admit to bruises and scars on their body as a result of a parent, guardian, or trusted adult. No child should be denied a childhood, or the love of two caring parents. No child should live unprotected and in fear of abuse.