Children suffer from abuse at home; Mistreatment causes detrimental health effects

Danny Gallo, Journalist

     Every day, children worldwide suffer from domestic abuse, specifically physical. What are called “punishments” ranging from a small slap to spanking, are detrimental to a developing brain, and can lead to several health issues in adulthood. 

     Many parents try to “correct” their child’s misbehavior through landing their hands, whips, and even sometimes metal rods on them. What is called by many parents “a form of discipline” actually shows a great failure in parenting skills around the globe and can lead to detrimental effects on a child’s well-being.

     Whether this is a cultural matter or not, it should not be acceptable. What it comes down to is being a loving human being and parent. 

     When experiencing great physical abuse or aggression from their own caretakers, kids grow up with low self-esteem caused by the belief that they deserve such misconduct from loved ones. In addition, there are children who due to the environment they grew up in believe that love equates to violence. According to the American Psychological Association, “children learn to behave like their parents”. Through observing others, those with developing brains intake their first form of education. Whether that education is of kindness and generosity or of violence and cruelty depends on those who are raising them.

     Parents should be loving, caring, and accepting of their children. The world is already a difficult place in many ways, and this is a universal fact. Why make it more difficult for them?

     In great importance, the legal cases of parents who continue to mistreat their kids do not represent the entirety of the problem, simply because many children do not report their caretakers’ aggressive behaviors. 

     There are several reasons why they might choose not to, including but not limited to their love for their parents, fear of getting hit again, a sense of guilt over the abuse as if they had deserved it, as well as fear of not being believed. This is where the victim begins to feel like the problem, even if they are at no fault for the aggression being projected onto them. Psychology teacher Melissa Winter explains her professional opinion on the matter: “I think some children are scared to tell anyone.  The abuser may threaten them if they tell anyone”. 

     According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, children of all backgrounds and ages are likely to suffer from physical abuse, however, those who are within the ages of “4-7 and 12-15 are at the greatest risk.” In a positive light, there are ways to give those children a voice. 

     By noticing signs of abuse, many can be of assistance to those in need. According to health care professionals around the United States, children who are being abused often will give off “red flags”, or signs that they are in a dangerous situation at home. Unexplained fractures, burns, injuries, and even bruises could be of concern, as well as injuries that don’t match with the explanation the child/parent is giving. Changes in a child’s behavior such as aggression and hostility are also to look out for since kids are mirrors of their parents. Furthermore, self-harm or seeking suicide by a child are great factors to consider when investigating a child’s background. Signs and actions such as these many times speak louder than words.

     The children of this world should not feel threatened or scared by those who raised them, but instead  the comfort of being at home and the warmth of a parent’s love should be apparent. It is extremely vital that the people of this society protect children who believe they are unsafe even in a place they are supposed to be appreciated. Raise their voices. Love them. Listen to them.