Among thousands of social evils prevailing across the globe,
child abuse definitely ranks among the highest on list. It’s a hideous crime practiced since ages. Pain and injury from child sexual abuse can heal
with time, however psychological and medical consequences can persist throughout
one’s entire life. Every day, countless children around the world are sexually,
physically, verbally, or emotionally abused leaving them with the most
horrifying and calamitous memories for lifetime, for when they’re supposed to
have the most remarkable years of their lives.
more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse. On average,
3.3 million cases are reported annually. Where child abuse is increasing
outrageously throughout the world, the rate is relatively higher in our
subcontinent. Before I came to U.S as an exchange student I wasn’t even aware
that we can speak against this horrible evil reigning the world. There are many
like me back in Pakistan, who don’t know that we’ve the freedom to express our
thoughts on this issue. This topic is badly neglected in most countries like
those in the Indian Subcontinent not because we’re free of it, but because nobody wants
to speak openly about this issue and some even don't consider it an evil.
It’s a worldwide
concern but cases are more frequent in the Indian Subcontinent because of the joint family
system. All the family members live under one roof, which makes children more
vulnerable. Many children in Pakistan are
abused but they can’t tell this to anyone because there is an immense lack of
communication between parents and children and they’re afraid even if they do,
nobody will believe them since they’re never given the confidence to share
everything they want to. They’re
often threatened by the abuser not to disclose the incident. Even if they want
to speak out, they’re not allowed to do so mostly by their parents. It’s considered
that keeping such things only to oneself is the best solution to the problem,
which indeed is the greatest misconception. The frustration as a result;
subjects to committing suicide and incredibly increasing its rate. Staying quiet about evils never helps in
eradicating them; rather it contributes in helping them prevail.
Children also are more vulnerable
to child abuse because they’re never taught about how to prevent it. They don’t
know what to do if they’re being abused or after they’re abused. It is ironic
that due to the lack of awareness, thousands of children become victims. The lack of knowledge is most instrumental in
the threat of child abuse proliferation.
upbringing of a child plays the paramount role in keeping him safe and secure from
all the monsters reaching out to him. Being a child myself, I understand the
intense need for awareness on this topic. Only an abused child knows where the
shoe pinches and this gives me goose bumps. Certainly this is the most tragic,
unfortunate, depressing, distressful, catastrophic, heartrending, and pitiful
thing that can ever happen to an innocent child who has not yet seen the true
colors of life.
I started to think about child abuse when once
my friend shared with me the incident of being abused by her own uncle. She was
horrified, scared to death and her lips frozen. As usual, she wasn’t allowed to
share this with anyone, which contributed to her psychological stress for
months and this turned her life murky and dark. Witnessing all this, I decided to devote my efforts to
this cause and guess
what, so can we all. Yes, you got it right each and everyone of us can play a
role on our part. Yes you can educate your siblings, cousins and children in
the vicinity about how to fight this horrendous ogre. Tell them not to stay
silent, tell them to speak up, tell them to take someone in confidence, tell
them it’s nothing wrong with them and please tell them not to ruin their rest
of the lives only because of a person who
was indeed a devil.
even a single voice can do wonders! So raise your voice for addressing this
issue nationally and globally for making strict laws against the abusers to discourage
such practices. The utmost need is to educate the common public; then to create
awareness for others and finally raise voice against it, only then we can be
successful in eradicating this atrocious epidemic.
The fact that the once neglected Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi got the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the cause highlights the fact that the scenario is changing gradually. It's the prime time to do our bit to exterminate this evil.
Read an another thought-provoking article on Child Abuse here:
(Mubashra Saleem is the Pakistan correspondent of JeevanMag.com A student of Towson High School (Maryland), She is Pakistan's Youth Ambassador to the US
on a Department of State program. She hails from Rawalpindi in Punjab, Pakistan.)