Child Abuse in India

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The desperate conditions affecting the rural as well as the urban poor in India are forcing growing numbers of children to toil often in subhuman conditions. They are deprived of their most basic rights as children, including education and a joyful childhood. Most have never been to school or dropped out at very youngages.despite of the fact that 9% of the world’s children live in India. 42% of India’s total population are aged below eighteen.India is home to almost 19 percent of the world’s children,child protection has remained largely unaddressed. In many cases this lack of protection is subject to CHILD ABUSE. Child abuse is the physical, psychological or sexual maltreatment of children.Most child abuse happens in a child’s home, with a smaller amount occurring in the organizations, schools or communities they interact with. There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse,psychological/emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. Different jurisdictions have developed their own definitions of what constitutes child abuse is for the purposes of removing a child from their family and/or prosecuting a criminal charge. The mental health journal states that child abuse is defined as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” A small but growing body of literature has begun to provide an understanding of child abuse in India.Attention has focused on child abuse in India since 1988, with the beginning of discussions, media awareness, and national seminars. it is believed that child abuse in India has not received adequate attention primarily because of a general lack of sensitivity to the issue.However definitions of child abuse in India need to be operationalized.The Indian view holds the child as parental property, subject to discipline as parents find appropriate. The child maltreatment is found in13 areas: cleanliness, clothing, drugs/alcohol, educational neglect, emotional neglect, fostering delinquency, housing, medical neglect, nutrition, parental sexual norms, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and supervision.Maltreatment of children in India was identified as 1) societal abuse, 2) physical maltreatment, 3) sexual abuse, and 4) nonphysical maltreatment.Child prostitution was considered the most serious offense and poor housing conditions the least. Differences were found between professional groups for all areas except child prostitution and sexual abuse.

Child abuse can take many forms:

* Neglect, in which the responsible adult fails to adequately provide for various needs, including physical (failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or hygiene), emotional (failure to provide nurturing or affection)or educational (failure to enroll a child in school). * Physical abuse is physical aggression directed at a child by an adult. It can involve striking, burning,choking or shaking a child, and the distinction between discipline and abuse is often poorly defined. The transmission of toxins to a child through their mother (such as with fetal alcohol syndrome) can also beconsidered physical abuse in some jurisdictions. * Child sexual abuse is any sexual act between an adult and a child, including penetration, fondling,exposure to adult sexuality and violations of privacy. * Psychological abuse, also known as emotional abuse, which can involve belittling or shaming a child,inappropriate or extreme punishment and the withholding of affection.

A new report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, (supported by Save the Children and UNICEF) reveals the extent and magnitude of child abuse and neglect in India. This is one of the world’s largest empirical, in-country studies covering nearly 12,500 children and 4800 young adults in 13States.The Study looks at three different forms of child abuse - physical...
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