Child abuse is the physical, emotional, sexual and psychological torture meted out to children by adults especially their caregivers or parents. The torture is indented to harm or threaten to harm the child (Pipe, Lamb, Orbach & Cederborg, 51). Children are people who are underage are under the care of the elderly, who are expected to protect them, give them guidance as they grow into responsible adults and provide them essential needs of life. Parents and caregivers furthermore are supposed to safeguard the children from any form of harm. God gave the parents to ensure that children grow in a responsible way, in that they recognize the supremacy of God and respect their parents and their elders. Children abuse is an issue that is rampant worldwide. Many forms of children abuse exist; children can be abused in any environment they interact in. The abuse occurs in school, home, and community settings. Children are abused psychologically, sexually, physically and through neglect.
The problem of child abuse can be eliminated through multilevel approach. Involving all the stakeholders in children welfare can be a huge step in helping reduce children abuse. Pipe, Lamb, Orbach & Cederborg (50) assert that religious institutions especially the church can be a critical stakeholder in the fight against child abuse. The church is a key player as it facilitates bringing together of other interested parties including the government, parents, and children welfare organizations. Through the church, the stakeholders can come together and put in place strategies that will help tackle the issue. Furthermore, the church and other religious institutions can play a fundamental role in awareness creation on child abuse. The public is mostly not aware of the issues of children abuse; hence sometimes facilitate abuse of their young ones or those under their care. The need to teach them about forms of child abuse and how to prevent it is, therefore, mandatory. Through the teachings and sermons shared in churches and other religious institutions, children abuse issues can be harmonized in such teachings to reach the worshippers. More so, the church and other religious groups can incorporate literature about child abuse in the ordinary religious literature. Using biblical teachings against child abuse can be a significant boost to the awareness creation about the issue hence facilitating in creating of a public that is more informed and willing to fight against children abuse (Kroeger & Nason-Clark, 44).
The teachings of Jesus Christ can help eliminate child abuse in our society. In his ministry, Jesus respected children for their humbleness. He encouraged the public always to be caring and loving to children. According to Luke 18: 15-17 (The New King James Version) when the disciples saw children being brought close to Jesus, so as to touch him and be prayed for they rebuked them. On seeing the actions of the disciples, Jesus rebuked them by saying that children are supposed to be close to him as they are the greatest humble being. He went further on to encourage his followers to be like children if they wanted to enter the kingdom of God. The teachings of Jesus on children being humble should be emulated by all to treat children fairly and not to abuse them.
The need to protect children is not only the responsibility of their parents and caregivers; everyone should participate in ensuring that children are not abused in any form. The need to create awareness to the public on child abuse calls for a creative strategy. All stakeholders including religious institution should come together and roll out various strategies that would reach the public, utilizing the various means that are at their disposal.
Kroeger, C & Nason-Clark, N. (2010). No place for abuse: Biblical & practical resources to counteract domestic violence. Lisle and York: InterVarsity Press.
Pipe, E., Lamb, E., Orbach, Y & Cederborg, C. (Eds.). (2013). Child sexual abuse: Disclosure, delay, and denial. New York: Psychology Press.
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