Physical abuse of a child is a failure on the part of an adult – plain and simple. I have believed this for a very long time and more and more research is agreeing with me;
As voices get raised louder regarding sexism, racism and other forms of bias in society, we may wonder when we’re going to hear voices properly raised for children. Their abuse goes largely unchecked. Even in the face of scientific evidence of the harm and damage caused in society, people look the other way as though choices about slapping or ‘spanking’ a child are for the individual to make.
This flows out of antiquated ideas of the child as the ‘property’ of the family and that somehow what goes on behind a front door (to a child) is a private affair. The evidence of research like this clearly shows that the detrimental effects harm society long in to the future – the harm done to the individual and the increased likelihood that the child will in turn grow up to be an abuser themselves.
Not only is it, as stated in the article, shocking in the Twenty First Century that the law in most US states enshrines the right of parents to physically assault their children, but in many states they still share that right to educators!
I will always perceive that raising our hand against a child is at least as barbaric and wrong as a man raising his hand to a woman. When we do it, it’s not about discipline or making a child better. It’s about failure to control anger, sending messages that might is right and that we have this right because we’re bigger (simple bullying).
I posted an article around a week ago about the need for society to provide help and support to parents. We mustn’t just simply demand that parents change, but must help them to develop alternative strategies. My concerns are that society turns a blind eye, even to the extent that I’ve seen instances of teachers unwilling to ‘get involved’ when they witness children showing bruises and other signs of physical abuse from home.
Society needs that we have the courage to come off the fence and to declare very clearly that children’s care and safety is all our responsibility. Every child being assaulted is everyone’s business.