There is generally not a single factor that results in the abuse or neglect of a child. It is usually a combination of various factors. When trying to understand child abuse and neglect, we look at possible factors in the adult, factors based on something in society, and factors based on something about the child.
Research tells us that there is no “typical” abuser. People who abuse children may be male or female and the majority of child abuse is committed by someone who knows the child. Some major factors that may contribute to child abuse are:
* Low self-esteem
* Poor control over their emotions
* A history of being abused themselves
* Financial problems
* Social isolation
* Lack of parenting skills
* Is abusing drugs or alcohol
* Focused on own troubles or things other than their children
* Has been diagnosed or exhibits symptoms of depression
Abuse has many short and long term consequences on the children. Some short-term consequences are feelings of guilt, violation, loss of control or lowered self-esteem. Some long-term consequences are emotional problems and behavioral problems.
There are things that can be done to reduce the abuse experience. The teacher can form a bond with the child and form a trusting and respectful relationship with them. It is important to boost their self-esteem and self-concept. The teacher can do this by giving the child a private space to call their own. They can also be consistent in responding to the child in a supportive manner. It is important to encourage the child to express themselves and talk about what they are feeling and their fears and concerns. Also let the child know you are there for them if they need someone.