Examining The Social Problem Of Child Abuse Media Essay

Child maltreatment is considered as a societal psychological phenomenon ( Pandey, 2007 ) that is of all time present in today ‘s society. The issue crosses the boundaries of all races and civilizations as it has been presented at a widespread happening in a signifier or another throughout the universe. The jobs that are set free of legal and societal footings from kid maltreatment and disregard are reasonably complex and multifaceted. Child maltreatment became evident as a societal issue all over the universe at an dismaying rate and volume. It caused uproar by many developed societies that preventive intercession plans, negotiations and runs have been conducted to make consciousness and educates parents and health professionals. In consideration for the developing states, international organisations such as UNICEF ( United Nations Children ‘s Fun ) GCO ( Global Children ‘s Organization ) have started establishing plans to make an international consciousness about the chief causes and effects of kid maltreatment that could impact the overall development of their kids. Organizations such as ASCA ( Adult Survivors of Child Abuse ) and NSPCC ( National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children ) are still running runs to make the consciousness of kid maltreatment by making advertizements and roll uping financess to assist the kids in demand. In Singapore, we have Singapore Children ‘s Society, patronized by President S R Nathan, to back up this cause.

Understanding Child Abuse

There is much contention that exists in specifying what precisely child maltreatment is. This is because of the being of many different civilizations and states that are invariably germinating that are accustomed to assorted methods of subject. These definitions are subjective and invariably altering ( Pandey, 2007 ) . Child ill-treatment is non a specified phrase to cover to cover a broad scope of behaviour. However, it does cover all behavior forms whether or non sanctioned by jurisprudence and usage that are deleterious to the kid ‘s wellness or societal, economic, emotional or moral well-being. Harmonizing to Singapore jurisprudence, a kid is considered as a individual who is under 21 old ages of age, but there are different definitions of “ a kid ” stated in assorted statute laws for specific intent ( SCS[ 1 ], 2005 ) .

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Child maltreatment exists in many signifiers. Each state differs but yet there is an understanding on the signifier or form of maltreatment, which happens throughout the universe. They are split into four major classs, which are physical maltreatment, sexual maltreatment, kid disregard and psychological maltreatment. The undermentioned paragraphs will explicate in elaborate of the assorted signifiers of maltreatment.

Physical maltreatment normally refers to physical hurts due to hitting, kicking, firing or other signifiers of aggression that injuries and endangers a kid. This class of panic will take the kid to the assorted natures of hurts that denote merely seeable cicatrixs. The hurts ranges from broken and/or fractured castanetss, sprained mortise joints and/or carpuss, Burnss and contusions. Children who went through physical maltreatment injury tend to exhibit destructive behaviours and are normally more aggressive in nature, compared to normal kids. Signs of major emotional jobs are besides present is these kids.

Child disregard is when parents or health professionals ignore or refuse to supply physical, educational or emotional demand. Physical disregard covers the ignorance of a parent or health professional towards the wellness status of the kid, forsaking or ejection from place or failure to supply the needed sum of supervising. Educational disregard is when a kid ‘s refusal to travel to school is allowed, when a parent or health professional fails to acknowledge a kid to school at an appropriate age, failure to supply particular instruction to back up a kid ‘s demand or directing off a kid to work in order to supply for the family. Emotional maltreatment refers to parents or health professionals who fail to supply attending to run into the kid ‘s fond regard or fondness, failure or refusal to give psychological attention, spousal maltreatment or domestic force in forepart of the kid and permission of drug or intoxicant usage for the kid. However, fortunes require consideration of contextual factors and cultural values set in poorness and wants.

Sexual maltreatment includes caressing of a kid genitalias, colza, buggery, intercourse, incest, exhibition and commercial development through harlotry or production of adult stuffs. Unlike physical or emotional maltreatment, sexual maltreatment do non associate to the upbringing of the kid, subject or inattention to their developmental demands. However, this embodies the breach of trust, misrepresentation, invasion and development of a kid ‘s artlessness and position ( Finkelhor, 1995 ) .

Psychological maltreatment of kids consists of Acts of the Apostless of carelessness and consideration, as concluded based on community criterions and professional expertness to be psychologically destructive. The Acts of the Apostless are committed either by a individual or a group of people who are in a place of differential power[ 2 ]that causes a kid to be susceptible to opprobrious misrepresentation. Such Acts of the Apostless of fraudulence could damage the behavioural, cognitive or physical function of a kid ( APSAC, 1995 ) . Examples of psychological maltreatment include terrorising, insulating, working, rejecting and negative equal influence.

Although there are many variables to each type of maltreatment, they portion a similar relation to the misusage of power by an grownup over a kid. However, sexual maltreatment is considered different from physical maltreatment and disregard, taking in consideration of certain properties. Evidence from early surveies has proved that the chief job lies in grownups that suffer from psychological perturbations ( Pandey, 2007 ) who went through an abused childhood. Hence, they turn into opprobrious parents that demand unrealistic outlooks merely so that they could carry through their unmet emotional satisfaction or hapless choler direction ( Kempe, et al 1962 ) .

The Role and Portrayal of Media on Child Abuse

Media can be considered a great influence to instill certain values in society. It influences the manner society perceives the issues that are being presented. Television and print media are illustrations of such media. More frequently than non, these sorts of media will finally determine the manner society thinks.

In Marshall McLuhan ‘s ( 1964 ) , Understanding Media, he mentioned ;

“ For any medium has the power of enforcing its ain premise on the unwary. Prediction and control consist in avoiding this subliminal province of the Narcissus enchantment. But the greatest assistance to this terminal is merely cognizing that the enchantment can happen instantly upon contact, as in the first bars of a tune. ” p.30

The medium mentioned here can be referred to whatever that carries the content – a platform. Media and medium in this instance are two different entities. Medium, as famously quoted by McLuhan, is defined as the ‘message ‘ . This merely means that audience ‘s premises are reliable on the medium used to set across the message. Therefore, the content becomes secondary in act uponing their premises. Media on the other manus consists of both medium and content. In order to look into the function and portraiture of media in kid maltreatment advertizements, we have to look at both of these facets – the medium and the content.

Understanding the medium is important to understand how certain premises made by the society are formed. Associating back to the quotation mark by McLuhan supra, he asserts that the medium has its power to act upon the premises and perceptual experiences of the receiving audience. While the audience thought that they are able to do their ain perceptual experiences towards the content presented, they are incognizant that the manner it is presented, particularly the medium used to show it, is the driving force of their supposed premises.

The illustration to exemplify ‘Medium is the message ‘ , in the context of kid maltreatment, is the advertizement by ASCA[ 3 ]. In this 1-minute advertizement, the male parent of the bride was doing a address on his girl ‘s nuptials. It seems like a normal nuptials address but what is upseting is the content of his address, where he insinuated his sexual maltreatment episodes he had with his girl to the invitees. The girl, every bit good as the invitees, were seen to be taking it lightly and even laughed during the address as if it was a gag. In the terminal, the tagline, “ If merely it was this easy to acquire over childhood maltreatment ” , was shown.

Audiences are horrified by the carefreeness of the advertizement on showing such a serious issue. In the advertizement, the medium is the girl and invitees ‘ reactions. The medium in this instance carries the message to the audience, ‘Child maltreatment is non that serious. ‘ Therefore, it was non what the content, which is the address made by the male parent that affairs in act uponing the audiences ‘ premises.

The audiences who had watched the picture are evidently agitated at the manner this picture is presented because they failed to see the implicit in purpose of it. It is true that it was made this manner deliberately to arouse. With this aggravation, they are able to make conversations and examining. Upon farther size uping the intent of the picture, audiences is able to acquire the message that, ‘Getting over childhood maltreatment is non every bit easy as it seems to be ‘ .

Therefore, associating back to what McLuhan had pointed out, ‘the greatest assistance ‘ is to be cognizant that the first premises are normally inaccurate and farther probing and apprehension of the medium and content are needed.

Obvious portraitures of kid maltreatment are seen in the picture by NSPCC[ 4 ]. In the picture, a sketch male child was seen abused by his supposed male parent, a existent adult male, in this instance. The male child was strangled, punched, slapped, thrown across the room and burnt with a coffin nail by his male parent. It seems truly amusing to watch this sketch male child being treated in this mode without acquiring earnestly injured. In the last scene, he was pushed down a flight of stepss, uncovering a existent male child at the pes of the stairway in topographic point of the sketch male child. The tagline, “ Real kids do n’t resile back ” , was shown.

The initial reaction triggered amongst the audiences was it being amusing and entertaining. This was due to the medium presented, the sketch male child. Cartoons are by and large considered an amusement for the younger audience.

Therefore, the message that audiences ab initio acquire was, ‘The advertizement was non meant to demo anything serious ‘ . Merely when the existent male child was revealed towards the terminal, the audiences ‘ reactions turned to floor. The medium, which is the existent male child, revealed the sedate message to the audience, ‘Real kids do n’t resile back ‘ .

Acerate leaf to state, such elusive symbolisms are important to do a picture more sensational and effectual. The apprehension of medium versus content helps to carve out certain symbolism that ab initio did non look that obvious. This displacement in screening of media is necessarily important to bring forth such thought arousing picture that pushes the boundary beyond the expected ocular imagination.

The Public Awareness

It is by and large safe to state that most families own a telecasting set and a computing machine that is connected to the Internet. As a consequence, most people will acquire their beginning of intelligence and information through telecasting and the Internet. The usage of mass media will be effectual in raising public ‘s consciousness on kid maltreatment.

However, in the article by Krugman ( 1996 ) entitled, ‘The Media and public consciousness of kid maltreatment and disregard: It ‘s clip for a alteration ” , he mentioned that media should

“ ( aˆ¦ ) avoid raising public consciousness that kid maltreatment exists, and instead assist the public understand the complexness of the job and how it could be prevented ” .

Media has to play a double function in portraying kid maltreatment, as an consciousness of its being and besides to propose ways of how the populace can assist forestall and turn to the kid maltreatment issue.

The kid maltreatment run run by NSPCC[ 4 ]has been launched since 1999 in the United Kingdom. The run aims to alter the behaviour and attitude towards kids and do it a point to inquire the populace to lend towards the protection of kids by establishing new services and attacks. Therefore, the use of mass media is of import to appeal to the populace so that the broad spectrum of audience could be reached. The run ‘s aim is for it to be an on-going bar procedure instead than something passing and intermittent.

This is to drive the point to the populace that the kid maltreatment issue will non be taken lightly and merely at a certain timing of the twelvemonth. NSPCC has been bring forthing videos associating kid maltreatment in different signifiers and content.

Public ‘s consciousness through media influences such as telecasting, cyberspace and print media is important to educate the multitudes on the bar of kid maltreatment. It is considered to be the fastness of most of the other runs, allow entirely child maltreatment.


It is apprehensible that different civilizations and societies have different ways of training their kids. Albeit all these differences, it is concluded that kid maltreatment is a affair of misused authorization, frequently with positive purposes.

It comes to a point where the parents or health professionals must gain that they are traveling over the bound. The purpose of a parent is normally echt in consideration for the growing and development of the kid. But they may non gain that what they are making is non precisely developing their kid in a positive manner. Hence, organisations have been set up to make an consciousness to steer parents and health professionals to assist supply support for the kids in demand. Advertisement have besides been made and aired on mainstream telecasting to bring forth promotion on the runs and issues that is to be presented.

This country of support strongly influences the societies ‘ perceptual experience towards kid maltreatment. With all the consciousness that have been created, we could merely trust that the younger coevals could hold a more nice and productive nurturing and development.

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