The talk of the town is child abuse. It is due to the recent incidents regarding brutal assassinations in the world. Sexual abuse is a well-known crime but it has different facets: they are physical, neglect, emotional and sexual.
Physical abuse can be defined as “deliberate aggressive actions against a child that inflict pain”. This encompasses beating, kicking, punching, burns, wounding. Neglect can be defined as the “absence of parental care”. The parents of the contemporary society are much concerned about their professional carrier. Thus, they find it difficult to be with their children. This true fact of ignorance leads to child abuse. In addition, neglect includes not providing foods, clothes, medical care and schools. Emotional abuse can be defined as behaviors towards children that cause mental anguish or deficits. Such as, yelling frequently withholding kindness, prolonged periods of silence and harsh jokes etc. Some parents say “you are stupid and fat”. Such words are very simple but they pierce the hearts of the small ones.Sexual abuse can be defined as “behavior towards a child that is intended for an offenders’ sexual stimulation”. This includes fondling forced sexual acts or indecent physical exposure. These types of abusers mostly build up a relationship with the child and he/she uses this relationship to abuse the child. Most of the abusers are parents, family members, teachers or family friends.The child protection authority in Sri Lanka has publicized a hot line to inform child crimes. It works twenty-four hours but this is in vein because most of adults and children do not give any call to that number due to various social and cultural issues that hold them back.
On the other hand, when this type of a news report goes to mass media, they tarnish the personality of the victim which is more harmful the victim. The media reports sometimes harm the whole family.
Child abuse leads to many negative repercussions which not only to present but also to the future because one day children will become adults. Sometimes they will continue that crime. So law must be developed to prevent the child abuse and as the present generation we have a responsibility to save our future generations.
L. Sherine Janson is a final year undergraduate of Law at Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL).