Thursday, July 2, 2020

Child Abuse Its Reality And Counter Measures

In the recent issue of Catholic Peace Weekly, the abuse of children was examined and mentioned was made of possible remedies. A serious issue in countries all over the world.

A 9-year-old elementary school student was put in a suitcase by his mother as corporal punishment, lost consciousness, and brought to the emergency room of a hospital but failed to revive him.  Another nine-year-old elementary school student was found by residents, who escaped from home barefooted because of the abuse of parents. The face and body were filled with bruises and burn marks. Children's abuse news, reported one after another, is difficult to read.  It is hard to believe how this abuse can go on but it is the reality. 102 children died from parental abuse and neglect in the last three years from 2016.

In 2018, 3,532 cases of child abuse were reported to child protection agencies. Of these, 2,604 cases (73.4%) were actual child abuse. 28 children died.

The place where child abuse mostly occurred was (80.3%) in the family. (8.5%) of child abuse occurring in schools, institutions that care for and educate children. From the statistics, 7 out of 10 child abusers are biological parents, and 80% of the abused places are homes. Child abuse is another name for domestic violence.

It has been a little over 20 years since Korean society began to punish domestic violence. Laws against domestic violence came into force in July 1998. The perception that domestic violence is not merely a family fight but a crime has established itself in society. It took another 16 years to recognize the seriousness of child abuse and protect the abused child within the law.

According to child abuse news, it seems that it will take more time to change the perceptions some people have: 'Why do persons concern themselves on the way I want to raise my child?'   And 'The child needs corporal punishment to grow up correctly' and  'A beating helps one harden their heart' .This being the situation, the Ministry of Justice recently announced that it will promote the legislation to ban child corporal punishment by revising civil law.

Experts pointed out that although it is a late decision, it is a fortunate decision, but in order to prevent and prevent child abuse, it is necessary to more clearly punish the perpetrators and to maintain and supervise families with child abuse. Current laws and policies focus on maintaining the family rather than punishing the perpetrators, thus increasing the secondary and tertiary damages. Even if you separate the victim from the abusive parent, most of the time, if the parent asks for forgiveness and asks for goodwill, the child returns to the parent. The separation period is also short. Even in the 2018 statistics, 82% of children who were abused returned to the family.

From the child's point of view, it is not easy to have the  parents punished or let them leave. "Violence for the victims of domestic violence is not practical because children can be better off at home with a mother or father who beats than living in a nursery or facility." It's a common opinion of experts.

In a family where child abuse has occurred, children and parents should be separated immediately, and psychological treatment for children and counseling education for parents should be conducted. In addition, when a child returns to the home, supervision by an expert must be continuously carried out. However, in reality, it is not well done due to the lack of experts and dedicated personnel and budget. Although counselors regularly make phone calls to check or visit their homes to supervise them, it is difficult to grasp the exact reality because there are many loopholes. Moreover, as Corona 19 spread, the problems multiplied.

The best way to reduce and prevent child abuse is a concern for our neighbors and the spirit of reporting. Child abuse is a top priority in Western society sensitive to child human rights, reports of child abuse are common, but this is still foreign to Korean society. Even when there is a loud voice next door, it is often overlooked because it is considered interfering in another family's life. However, the common view of experts is that it is possible to save a child's life and a family when they hear yelling and screaming from a neighboring house. 

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