What Child Abuse reveals about a society

Violence or abuse in any form is a sign of savagery. Any form of child abuse – whether physical, sexual or emotional – must not be permitted in civilized countries. However, according to an official statistics, New Zealand still has around 7000 cases of child abuse and 10 deaths caused by child abuse every year. These figures may not look very appalling in a country with a population of over four million. But if you really think about them closely enough, you would feel that those seemingly relatively small numbers are just the tip of an ice-berg. Actually, child abuse can affect a community in several significant ways.

In a well-known American movie called “Monster,” which was dramatized based a real life story, the heroine becomes a hardened serial killer which she is working as a street prostitute. It revealed that her psychopathic personality trait has a lot to do with her being abused by her step-father during the childhood. Apparently, this example shows that child abuse victims may grow into psychopaths, future criminals or broken personalities. According to a research by Christchurch School of Medicine, “The harsher the punishment (or abuse) during childhood, the more likely a person to attempt suicide, go in for drug and alcohol abuse and commit crime.” In the case of New Zealand, 7000 child abuse victims means another 7000 potential criminals for the society, and a chain reaction can then result, creating more victims. The consequences can be incremental.

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In addition to hurting others, child abuse victims may also grow into people who are prone to mutilate themselves, or even kill themselves. As it is quoted in the previous paragraphs, a person is more likely to attempt suicide, as the victim has never been given a chance to build his or her own self-respect and tends to trash himself or herself. In the end, even if they survive their unfortunate attempts, they may still become mental wrecks, which in turn may add to the burden of their family and the society as a whole. The reason is that such victims may not be able to work normally and need to depend on all the social resources available to them.

Ten deaths may not sound serious, but if the government were informed that children have been held hostage for ransom. What would they do? No doubt they would try their best to save the children at any cost. The deaths do not just mean personal tragedies. It also means that as the final guardians for children, the government, or the society, has failed to measure up its claim as a society with sound social security. Also the society has lost ten valuable future members which can contribute.

Besides those losses, the problem of child abuse will defiantly hurt the pride the nation takes in its claim as developed civilized country. Humans are always proud of themselves as the only creature who can reason and create. But somehow, we are also the only creatures which sometimes kill each other or hurt each other. Child abuse is an unforgivable sign of savagery against our fellow human beings. Abuse at the hands of our own abusive caregivers is simply something we should condone or resign to.

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