FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT AMONG PARENTS IN IKA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE
Background of the Study
Child abuse and neglect is a social and public health problem in Nigeria, as well as a children’s rights issue. Abuse and neglect can lead to a wide range of adverse consequences for children and young people. 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. In addition, the duration (such as the duration of an illness) or intensity (such as the level of drug or alcohol abuse) can make it more or less likely that a child will be at risk for abuse (Aber and Cicchetti, 2014).
Child abuse is a term used for maltreatment and neglect of children. Child maltreatment may be formally described as: …all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power (Woodhouse, 2011).
Child neglecton the other hand is generally seen as a different phenomenon from maltreatment. Child neglect may be defined as: “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (Culp, 2011). Neglect is in many ways the more insidious harm against a child, with long-term effects at least as damaging as physical abuse (if not more so) but often going unnoticed (Bloom, 2011).
The term ‘child abuse and neglect’ refers to the harm experienced by children or young people under the age of 18 yearsas a result of the actions, inactions or inability of people with a parental responsibility for them (Sylvestre and Mérette, 2010). Parental responsibility in relation to a child means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children (Greenfield, 2010). The harm experienced by the child or young person may arise from a significant event or may arise from the cumulative effect of abuse and neglect. Most parents love their children, but when stress, tiredness, lack of skills, information and support combine it can be overwhelming (Drotar, 2012).