Killing the Childhood of Our Children

The Problem

Violence against children is prevalent in all societies and do not depend on any class or religion. In the recent times, many experts and social groups have begun highlighting the problem more vigorously and the media is also taking up this issue in a more holistic manner. All these factors have contributed towards more awareness among the masses about the problem and renewed efforts are being made by both government and the society to try to solve it through a multi-pronged effort, involving all the section of the society.

Violence against children may not necessarily mean the physical harm, but is likely to include emotional and mental violence, or even if the kid has witnessed violence against someone else (this include domestic violence). While physical marks of violence can heal over time, it is the mental scars associated with such violence that the child carries to his/her adulthood. Researchers have found that effects of domestic violence on children can be devastating and affect the mental growth of a child in the long run.

Effects of Domestic Violence in Childhood on Mental and Physical Growth

Home is the most secured place for a child and any violence (both physical as well as mental) that happens inside the confines of the home shatters the sense of security in a child and causes serious effect on the mental growth of a child. Child experts have found that children from broken home or abusive parents have limited ability to cope with stress, difficulty in channeling their aggression, are impulsive in nature, poor planning capabilities, concentrating on their studies and even making quick rational decision in pressure situation. These factors mar their ability to form strong relationship with others. Studies have also indicated that abused children are more likely to be drawn into criminal activity in their adulthood.

How to Identify a Child Suffering from Violence?

Parents, teachers and others who have a responsibility towards the child should look out for danger signals that indicate towards the kid’s suffering from violence. These signals may include difficulty in concentration, sleeplessness, nightmares, generalized anxiety, increased aggression, increased anxiety or fear of separation parent(s), heightened activity levels and intense worry about their safety or the parent’s safety. In addition, the child may show signs of bedwetting, tiredness, lack of interest in any kind of activity in school and loss of appetite.

Responding to the problem

If it is established that the child is suffering from some form of domestic violence, then it is essential that the school should step in to fulfill its responsibility by informing the childcare services. They should also try to council the parents and aware them about the disastrous effects of domestic violence on children.