Discuss the prevention of child abuse on children who are disabled and the treatment for those who already have been abused…………….
Disabled children together with their families have constantly experienced obstacles in enjoying basic human rights such as right to education, health, equality and protection. Their needs are not given equal priority like normal children, and their abilities have been underestimated by the authorities and people they live with in the same environment. Common child abusers include caretakers and other attendants, family members, their peers and persons trusted to take care of them.
The situation is however changing, thanks to civil society and governments efforts; they have contributed to the removal of barriers hence promoting their access to basic human rights. However, the speed of improvement varies between and within countries; some countries have not yet put in place legislations needed to protect the rights of children with disabilities. This paper addresses the problem of disabled child abuse; it outlines measures taken to prevent child abuse and as well as treatment methods in abused children.
Prevention of physical, sexual and emotional abuse
Necessary measures should be taken to prevent and reduce child abuse at national and community level in line with UN standards. Appropriate measures should be taken to protect disabled children from violence, which include physical violence, sexual and economic exploitation and other abuse such as child trafficking. Sexual, physical and psychological/emotional abuse is higher among disabled children in comparison to their normal peers, (Innocent digest no 13, 2007).
Formation of disabled organizations which will work closely with the governments in undertaking comprehensive review of current disability legislation and formulation of relevant laws that protects the rights of children with disabilities in conformity with the UN standards. All legislations and regulations should aim at preventing discrimination on the basis of disability.
The laws and regulations should provide for effective remedies and management of violated children. These remedies should be easily accessible by all disabled children, their families and care providers. There is need to come up with a national plan of action to address the problem of child abuse in line with international standards with specific, achievable and realizable time bound targets and evaluation mechanisms, (Innocent digest no 13, 2007).
Developing a multisectoral committee mandated to coordinate and monitor progresses made in achieving equality and proposes relevant policies aimed at improving the conditions of disabled kids and their families. This committee should comprise members drawn from government ministries and associations of people with disabilities.
Creation of independent monitoring commission such children commission which is mandated to create awareness and support to children with disabilities of their rights. Government and relevant stakeholders should provide necessary resources for helping children with disabilities in their education, training of teachers for handicapped groups, provision of social security and financial support to buy assistive devices; sign language, Braille artifacts and curriculum, (Innocent digest no 13, 2007).
There is need to put in place community service system to assist children with disabilities and conduct public trainings and awareness on the rights of disabled children to reduce and eradicate discrimination as well deinstitutionalization of disabled children and placing them within the community and their families. There is need for constant consultation with disabled organizations in matters of disability planning and policy making.
Treatment of disabled children
Treatment of disabled children varies according to the type of disability, type of abuse incurred and the complexity of need. Psychological and emotional abuse in disabled children is treated through counseling and guidance whereas medical treatment is used in cases of physical abuse. Neglect is common among disabled kids and this can be treated using therapeutic day care, emotional stimulation and cognitive stimulation programs. Other treatment measures for neglected disabled victims are through peer mediation and development of after school/recreational programs for the children, (Briere, 1992). All these measures address familial dysfunction and disconnection.
Sexual abuse is treated using cognitive behavioral strategies, which may also be used to address physical abuse and neglect. This strategy addresses the thinking patterns of the child. Gradual exposure and discussion of abuse experiences helps in reducing anxiety and embarrassment besides providing opportunities to change their self defeating and inaccurate thinking. Relaxation training is used to address their fear and anxiety. Education is used to clarify developed misconceptions arising from their abuse. Trainings equip disabled victims with necessary skills to manage negative emotions and improve their interpersonal abilities. Supporting measures are taken in cases of unsupportive family members, peers and legal process.
Educations on self protective strategies teach and empower abused victims with skills to minimize the likelihood of the abuse reoccurrences. There is need to develop a safety plan in homes, demarcate danger cues and identify supportive people within the kids’ environment. This is necessary in reducing reoccurrence risks and secrecy of previous abuse, (Briere, 1992).
Prevention of child abuse is necessary for reducing the cases of abuse among disabled children in the society. Prevention measures require coordinated efforts of all relevant stakeholders. Governments, disabled organizations and civil society groups are mandated to steer necessary actions aimed at preventing child abuse in the society.
Treatment of child abuse children is not only difficult but also complex and frustrating, and has a number of obstacles to be overcome by treating professionals. There are also no clear guidelines in regard to treatment of abused children; however, most treatments have employed short term measures. Treatment time should be guided by the nature of their social, emotional and behavioral difficulties, where children with a wide range of problems will require longer treatment time. Treatment strategies should focus on the abuse, include educational component and address child relationship.
Briere, J. (1992). Child abuse trauma: Theory and treatment of the lasting effects. Newbury Park, CA: Sage
Innocent digest no 13, (2007): promoting the rights of children with disabilities. At http://www.un.org
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