What is the link between reckless endangerment of a child and violence?
I choose this subject because it is quite fascinating. It focused on how many children or young adults in the world can grow up experiencing abuse and neglect and not lead a healthy life. Many kids around the world grow up to lead a life of violence, become mentally unstable, or traumatized due to parent’s mistreatment and emotional detachment. Knowing that there are many cases linking violence to child abuse or reckless endangerment, I want to know whether there is a link between childhood abuse and violent behavior among Kuwaiti youths. This subject comes up in several movies, yet I am not certain about the truth of the content. Although, I understand that the cases are different depending on the situation, in the end I’d like to find out if violence is mainly caused by a lack of parenting.
Domestic Violence on Children
Domestic violence can be described as the usage of physical power by one adult in order to control another adult or a child. Domestic violence against women is an old phenomenon; women have always been viewed as weak and vulnerable and thus, men could control them even if the last needed to use physical force to obtain this control (McCue 2008). In order to end violence against girls and women, governments of some countries even compress domestic violence protection controls, which are supposed to give police an opportunity to act more quickly in critical situations. (Griffith 2014). Domestic violence can be a result of certain imbalance that a man experiences in his life. However, there are also other factors that lead to domestic violence, such as psychological aspect, when men try to demonstrate their dominant role in the family by the means of physical force and abuses. However, one should remember that domestic violence has a crucial effect not only on women, but also on children.
One can outline the following reasons that may lead to such a phenomenon as domestic violence:
- First of all, it is social dissatisfaction, which may have a reflection on a person`s family life. Men are usually perceived as strong, confident and successful human beings. A successful man has a good car, a big house and a job where he can earn enough money to buy everything he wants and not to worry about bills. This stereotype creates a special position of men in the society. However, if a man cannot achieve all these goals, he needs to work two shifts in order to pay the house rent and drive a car that he bought ten years ago; thus, he starts viewing himself as a person who gained nothing in this life. Despite the fact that the reaction of a woman on her husband’s problems may not be so dramatic, the latter may use violence against his wife in order to demonstrate that he is still a man and he controls the situation. Moreover, there are some cases when people who suffer from domestic violence are eager to abandon their independence to fulfill their physiological needs (Kaur & Garg, 2008). Constant fatigue, problems at work and increasing dissatisfaction with his life may lead to quarrels that overgrow into the usage of physical force in order to prove that the husband is always right.
- The second reason is a psychological trauma or some mental disorders. At first glance, all family members may look happy and satisfied. A husband earns enough money and does not feel any social discomfort, his wife is an adequate woman who does not like to raise the devil and make her husband crazy. However, domestic violence still takes place in such a family, though there are no visible factors that can lead to it. In this case, one should take into consideration the husband’s childhood, his family and the environment in which he was growing up, relations among the members of his family, especially between his mother and father (Hornton 2014). Children are very susceptible to everything they face during their development. Psychologists state that the relations between parents are often perceived as a norm by children. Hence, if a husband has never raised his voice to his wife, a child believes that this behavior is appropriate for every family. However, if the situation is absolutely opposite, a child will think that physical force may be used as an argument in a quarrel. According to this fact, the family model predetermines the child’s own viewing of the future family relations.
- The third reason is directly connected to the previous one, but it is related to the wife’s perspective. As well as in the case of a male child`s development and growth, a female child also creates certain norms of what a family should be. For instance, if a mother does not respond to father’s verbal or even physical abuses and views, a daughter believes that it is really a kind of social norms. In her consciousness, a man, who plays the role of a husband, has an absolute power over a woman (Johnson 2014). In other words, a husband is always right, even when he uses violence towards his wife. Hence, when a daughter becomes an adult woman, she does not contradict her husband when he behaves unethically towards her and turns a blind eye when he uses physical strength to prove his rightness. This phenomenon can be called as wife’s submission, when a woman accepts the abnormal behavior of her husband as a standard of family life.
Women are not the only who suffer from their husbands. Children represent another category which is left unprotected; though sometimes women are able to stand up to their husbands’ violence, children are rather often vulnerable to it. Aggression of men towards their own children has a lot in common with violence against wives, though there are some specific features which differentiate them.
Every husband feels responsibility for his children, especially for their development, education and interests. The conflicts between parents and children exist and can be often found in a psychological practice. Every generation has a need to disagree; thus, parents and children often cannot find a common language, especially when children reach the teenage stage of development. Some parents believe that punishment is one of the educational methods that can be applied towards their children. Indeed, such punishments as grounding or not giving pocket money are acceptable, but the usage of physical force can be hardly approved by psychologists as an effective educational approach.
Fathers often want their sons to be strong, brave and confident. According to this fact, they believe that the usage of physical punishment will make the son a real man in future because life is a hard thing and he should learn how to cope with difficulties since the childhood. Another reason is the usage of grandfather’s methods of education. One hundred years ago the relations between fathers and sons were stricter and less gentle. Some fathers still use the same methods as an effective educational tool.
Domestic violence is inappropriate behavior and neither woman, nor children should accept it. First of all, a person who suffers from domestic violence should remember that he/she is an individual who may have his/her own views, believes or life position and no one can physically harm him/her. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is the main argument that a woman may use to protect herself from her husband`s unethical behavior. According to this fact, domestic violence is a crime and a husband may be condemned if his wife presses the charges against him (Kenney 2012). The second solution is less radical; a family psychologist can be consulted in order to solve the problems that arise in a family and lead to domestic violence. The specialist may help in solving the problems that often cause quarrels and lead to violence. If a husband refuses to visit a family psychologist, a wife may use the first solution as an effective argument to make her husband change his mind.
Taking into consideration all the above mentioned factors and information concerning domestic violence, one can be sure that children are very vulnerable. First and foremost, physical abuse in a family forms a child`s perception regarding an appropriate family model. Therefore, domestic violence can lead to various problems in the future when a child grows up and has his or her own family. Besides, it may happen that when a child watches his mother being abused by his father or even the child him/herself is being abused, he or she becomes nervous. As a result of such condition, the child may start suffering from various physical and mental diseases, like depressions, bipolar disorder, etc. Due to constant domestic violence, a child may become very secluded and asocial. Moreover, there is a crucial possibility that such child will become an abuser in the future.
The relationship between childhood abuse and violent behavior among Kuwaiti youths?
The abuse of children in Kuwait is rarely brought into a conversation according to Dr Nicholas Scull, the Director of clinical and Psychological Services at the Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute to the Arab times. Since most kids are supervised by adults other than their parents like nannies, it can present real challenges to working parents. The National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that the Pediatrics Departments at Al-Amiri Hospital and Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital in Kuwait posted an article that said (Child abuse in Kuwait: problems in management).
Their objective was to find out the rate of child abuse in Kuwait and assess the challenges associated with its management. An analysis of 60,640 medical records of children treated at Al-Amiri and Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospitals in Kuwait, between 1991 and 1998 was carried out. The result showed that, ou of the 60,640 records 16 children gave evidence of abuse. Of these cases, 75% of the cases were caused by parents, which revealed the following abuses: 13 physical; 2 were sexually caused, and one with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Children that had physical abuse and more than one type of bruise composed of 77%. 23% were those with burns and (38%), included those with intracranial hemorrhage were. Those that had fractures were (23%) while those with cut wounds were (15%). Seven children out of all reported cases were returned to their biological parents. Those lost to follow-up amounted to 7 while 2 children succumbed to death. This resulted in the conclusion that child abuse exists in Kuwait and is under reported.
Management itself is not ideal, but Legislation is also crucial. Many parents in Kuwait use physical punishment as a measure to discipline their children; it is not that parents do it deliberately; they do it because it is commonly used in most Arab countries to shape up the child, although some parents take it too far (Kumaraswamy, 2008). As soon as most children in Kuwait are born they are usually left with nannies or maids to take care of them. Some parents rarely spend time with their children, which results in feeling of neglect by their parents (Apfel & Simon 1996).
These things could lead to long term mental instability that can cause the child could grow up becoming violent, damaging their sense of self, the ability to have healthy relationships, and the capability to function at home, at work or at school (Apfel & Simon 1996) Additionally, neglect of children and lack of protection can cause children to be fearful, cause anxiety and a lot of nightmares. Those children can also opt to be lone rangers to avoid people which ultimately cause depression and sadness (Byman & Green, 1999). Most of these consequences according to Langley (1999) are long lasting especially if they do not get treated.
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Langley, W. (1999). Encyclopedia of human rights issues since 1945. Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press.
Griffith, R 2014, ‘Government implementation of domestic violence protection measures nationwide’, British Journal of Community Nursing, 19, 6, pp. 302-306.
Hornton, V 2014, ‘Understanding the emotional impact of domestic violence on young children’, Educational & Child Psychology, 31, 1, pp. 90-100.
Johnson, ME 2014, ‘A home with dignity: domestic violence and property rights’, Brigham Young University Law Review, 2014, 1, pp. 1-544.
Kaur, R. & Garg, S. (2008). ´Addressing domestic violence against women: An unfinished agenda´. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 33(2), pp. 73-76
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