Physical child abuse refers to the physical injury inflicted upon the child with cruel or malicious intent. Some forms of physical child abuse are punching, beating, kicking, biting and others. Physical child abuse causes injury, trauma or bodily harm to the child. Also, such abusive acts towards children can often result from parents or teachers’ attempts at child discipline through excessive corporal punishment.
Physical child abuse is a growing menace which needs to be checked appropriately and this is due to its lasting effects on the psychological and emotional makeup of the child. For instance, physically abused children are at risk of emotional distress, depression, later interpersonal problems involving aggressive behaviour and substance abuse.
Schools can provide a safe haven for children who are physically abused at home or other places. One basic thing they can do is to pay attention to children’s basic needs for warmth and security. Teachers can also organise classes and workshops for children addressing how physical child abuse can be prevented, recognised and dealt with. Engaging in school based programs can help build students’ self-esteem and have respectful, caring and equal relationships with peers and others. For students in family violence situations, these programs may be their first exposure to learning about building healthy relationships. Schools can also develop collaboration with community agencies to provide support systems for children who have been abused.
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