“Physical punishment leaving bruises, lacerations, burns, broken bones and any other physical mark on the child’s body”
Abuse can happen anywhere for a number of ‘reasons’… Bottom line is that there is no reason.
Physical abuse is often a spur-of-the-moment thing. A crime of passion, as it were. Often it’s accompanied by alcohol, a hangover, no cigarettes… Anger. Bullying. For an adult, parent or not, to take advantage of his or her larger size and power is a form of bullying. All to easily behavior which is obviously wrong becomes ‘the norm’ and you can lose sight of normal and abnormal.
Sometimes adults are overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenthood and convinced that they ‘must’ rule with an iron fist. There is sometimes a genuine belief that they have to beat the disobedient streak out of their child, lest it follow them into adulthood. And there is almost always a history of that adult having been abused in a similar way when he or she was a child. Sometimes what starts off as a controlled spanking – which I firmly believe is still wrong – ends up escalating gradually over the months and years, out of all control.
Physical abuse – any kind of abuse of anyone at all – is wrong. Always. If you have an idea that perhaps a situation you know of might be abuse, you have a moral obligation to report it to the authorities. The law varies from country to country, as does the definition of abuse. In Canada there is a legal obligation to report abuse and failure to do so leaves you open to prosecution.
It is hard to be a parent, especially in difficult times. There are many occasions when you feel impotent to change a situation. I would love for parents to check out this website and learn what isabuse. Make sure that nothing you do falls into that category.
Knowledge is power – together we can stamp out abuse.