From the womb to the tomb, children today face dire abuse. In its most inconspicuous form it starts at school. The bullies at schools are enough to remind us of the hard life we had as a child. They ate our food, stole our books, and sometimes it even got into nasty fights. This may even be overlooked as it is a temporary event and does not find its way into adulthood. Yet the dreadful forms of abuse that a child goes through are many. There is no set pattern of child abuse. It could be anywhere even in the oddest of places. More often than not, the story involves an adult with pedophilia tendencies, to suppress the child and compel him or her into sexual activity. What is indeed shameful is the number of child abuse stories that involve family members as the culprits. Such is the story or innumerable kids all across the globe who have been treated a slice of hell in this manner and forced to lead a crippling life of unbearable agony. The child is traumatized and this has severe consequences. Childhood is the time for carefree living. It is a time for games, toys and candy. Why then are children forced into sexual activity? It is downright shameful for a country like India to be unsuccessful in curbing child abuse.
The violence dealt out to kids is shattering to the innocent psyche. These kids grow up to unstable and unbalanced people. They lose faith in the good aspects of life, and often on themselves. Unable to judge the right from wrong, children who have been abused tend to blame themselves instead of the wrong doer. Molestation, rapes and sexual assault of children is an offence. An offender of the rights of a child is severely punished. Needless to say, these childhood traumatic situations take the shape of increasing depression, suicidal tendencies, delinquent behavior, immoral sexual activity, health issues and substance abuse in the future. Apart from these harmful effects, the negative impact of sexual abuse in children is many. For instance the affected child may grow up with alarmingly less self-esteem and absolutely no confidence in his or her own abilities. This results in stress and panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, social anxiety disorder. These stem from an incredibly low self-esteem as the children were deprived of their happy childhood; they are compelled to lead a complex life afterwards. Doctors have claimed that children with various kinds of sexual traumatic experiences show symptoms of avoidance behaviour, nightmares, irritability, lack of social skills, and poor concentration. Often they show extreme shyness, quietness, fear of being judged and ridiculed by society.
It would not be wrong to say that having a traumatic childhood of violence and abuse leads to a life of extremely low productivity, fear, specific phobias, avoidance of regular issues and irrational behavior. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time, these could diminish the standard of living of the individual. Violence inflicted on children is a sure recipe for a heinous crime. Not many survive this. There have been reports of children not having realized what they were subjected to. After significant medical check-ups and other tests were done was the truth known. Often the child is not aware of the severity of the situation.
What seems to be a blockage to the prevention of child sexual abuse is the hush-hush tones in which these subjects are spoken about. More often than not, they are completely given a backseat with no talk whatsoever on these issues that are considered a taboo. Yes, it is indeed shocking to hear a child, just a few days/months/years old being brutally raped or sexually assaulted, but due to lack of acknowledgement the scenario doesn’t change. Change can be brought about by spreading awareness, not by preventing any reforms taken to curb child violence. The impact of abuse can range from impacts that are difficult to trace to the very severe ones. Sexual abuse snatches away from the children, their childhood, creates trust issues, feelings of fear, shame and guilt, flashbacks leading to nightmares, bed-wetting and behaviors of self-abusive. As proven by thorough analysis and case studies, the victims are led to antisocial behavior
, intense identity crisis, and withdrawal and avoiding of family and friends besides other grave emotional problems. The adults, who survive the violence inflicted on them, are forever led to lead helpless lives that are not in the least fulfilling. Aloofness, self-aversion are two dreadful after-effects of child abuse that can be felt throughout the life of an adult who has been a victim of such traumatic incidents in his infant years or as a child.
Be it at schools, homes, and the playground, children today are not safe. Child abuse laws in India have been enacted as an integral part of the nation’s child protection policies. The ‘Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Bill’ was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2011 which came into act on May 22 2012. Pornographic content involving children was justly made an offence. The Act hastens the long drawn procedure that the child otherwise had to face to receive justice. The need for this troubled hour is considerable awareness and stringent reforms being taken to safeguard child rights.