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Child abuse is whereby a child is mistreated or neglected by its parent or guardian who is given the responsibility of taking care of them. There are various forms of child abuse which can include physical, psychological or sexual abuse. The United States child abuse and prevention and treatment Act has defined it as failure of a parent or a guardian to take care of a child by neglecting hem and exposing them to physical, emotional, sexual harm and exploitation which may result o injury o even death of the child ( Baumrind , 1993).
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Physical abuse is whereby injuries are caused o a child but they are no always visible. This can be as a result of caning, burning, hitting o poisoning of the child. Sexual abuse usually occurs when a minor who is below the age of 18 participates in a sexual act with a person who is 18years or older either willingly, by force which is rape or for money.
According to Aisha (2013), psychological abuse which is usually mental by various factors that range from isolating, terrorizing, exploiting and denying a child its rights.
Purpose of the study
The main aim of the study was o find out he various attitudes and opinions of the people in matters regarding child abuse and neglect. The survey was also aimed at identifying the various signs and symptoms of a neglected and abused child. The study would also help to identify he various steps that individuals in the community take to control and prevent child abuse in the community.
Reason for choosing the topic
Child abuse is rapidly increasing in the country and various measures have to be put in place to curb the menace. Chris (2010), children are very vulnerable and they need to be protected and taken care of so that they can grow in the right manner. I decided to focus on the topic since it has been sidelined and other issues prioritized. This has further exposed children o abuse since focus has been shifted to other issues.
Issues experienced in conducting the survey
The first issue is lack of participation by community members. The community members did not want to talk about the various children abuse incidents their community since they are in denial and do not want to admit that it is occurring in their community. They were unwilling to answer the questionnaire hence the research was shallow since the topic was not fully discussed. The other issue is discrimination of victims of child abuse: Victims of child abuse are discriminated against by other community members and were unwilling to participate in the study. This discrimination has resulted to low self esteem amongst the victims. Only a few victims participated.
Ways of ensuring that the survey is a success
Community participation: The community members have to be fully involved so as to ensure that they feel as part of the survey. Their participation will ensure that they are able to provide me with the various answers that I require. This will enable me identify the various victims of child abuse and to the participation of the other community members the victims will feel comfortable to share their stories.
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Cooperation of stakeholders who are concerned with child abuse: The study encourages coordination and cooperation amongst various stakeholders who are concerned with the child abuse matter to work together to help come up with solutions towards the matter. The government should work together with NGOs so ha hey can be able to address the issue.
Preventive action: various ways to curb child abuse should be initiated in the community so as to prevent any type of child abuse from occurring. Majority of the community members have not considered preventive measures. A community disclosure system can be initiated so that people can report abuse against children before the cases become serious (Billick, 2015).
Consideration when creating the survey questions
I had to consider various key factors before coming up with the survey questions. They include willingness of the participants to answer them, confidentiality, emotions of the participants, type of abuse inflicted on the child, relationship of the abuser to the child and target individuals who are supposed to answer them. According to Helen (1994), confidentiality is a key factor when dealing with the community members especially the victim of abuse since most of them do not want their side of the story known by other community members. The abused children should be protected and should not be exposed since it will create more discrimination towards them.
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- Baumrind (1993). Optimal Care giving and Child Abuse: Continuities and Discontinuities. National Academy of Sciences Study Panel on Child Abuse and Neglect. (Report). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
- Mehnaz, Aisha (2013). Child Neglect: Wider Dimensions. JP Medical Ltd. p. 101.
- Friedman, E; Billick, SB (June 2015). Unintentional child neglect: literature review and observational study. Psychiatric Quarterly.
- Noh Anh, Helen (1994). Cultural Diversity and the Definition of Child Abuse, in Barth, R.P. et al., Child Welfare Research Review, Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 28.
- Saunders, Bernadette; Goddard, Chris (2010). Physical Punishment in Childhood: The Rights of the Child. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 2–3.