Abuse and Neglect in Media
The media today pays a lot of attention to issues that are related to child abuse and neglect. This is because incidences of child abuse and neglect have been on the rise in recent years. This role of the media has been effective in notifying the public of the various forms of abuse that their children are likely to face. It has also attracted political attention to the extent that governments have implemented measures aimed at protecting children from abuse.
Governments have also notified parents of the actions that they are supposed to take to ensure that their children are safe (Ito, 2000). Both small and grown children are susceptible to abuse and neglect. With the role that the media is playing about covering child abuse and neglect cases, it has been able to notify the public about what kind of behavior is normal and acceptable in any society. The media has therefore been effective is enabling the public to understand what kind of behavior should be regarded as abuse to a child.
There are many professionals whose goal is to educate the public on the various ways that children can be abused and neglected. They also offer ways in which parents can protect their children from abuse by other members of society. However, the activities of these professionals are not as effective as the role that the media plays in educating the public (Gupta, 2006). As a result, people have come to rely on the media as a way that can significantly help them minimize cases of child abuse.
There are instances whereby the coverage of the media on child abuse and neglect cases is associated with negative repercussions for children together with their families. This is especially the case if the perpetrator of abuse warns the child’s family against giving the details of the abuse to the media.
However, the coverage of the media about child abuse and neglect is very critical in order to ensure that the public remains concerned about the various forms of abuse that children go through. This role of the media also ensures that child protection services also remain accountable.
With the rate at which child abuse and neglect cases have increased, it has become important to notify the public of the various forms of abuse that their children are likely to face. For this to be effective, people need a medium that can enable them to acquire the information that they need satisfactorily. There are societies which adopt community education campaigns to educate people of the various ways children can be protected from abuse and neglect.
However, not many people can gain access to such campaigns thereby eliminating a large number of people from accessing the services (Ito, 2000). Therefore, the media is effective because it can reach a large number of people thereby making it possible for people whose children have been exposed to abuse to know the corrective measures that they can take to address the abuse.
In addition, the media is well known for reporting sensitive child abuse and neglect cases by engaging in research. As a result, the media has been able to significantly influence the public to come up with various intervention measures in order to ensure that their children do not go through any forms of abuse or neglect.
There are instances whereby children who come from influential families in various societies are targeted by criminals for abuse. When the media broadcasts such forms of abuse to the public, it impacts greatly on a society (Korbin, 2000).
There are various newspaper companies which dedicate several pages to child abuse cases in order to show the public the state of children who have been abused and neglected. They also show children who have disappeared as a result of being exposed to various forms of abuse. Such children could either have been killed, kidnapped, or they run away from home if the perpetrator of the abuse was a relative (Wroe, 2007).
People are today living in a media word. Today’s media comprises of digital televisions, satellite communications, computers, and virtual reality. As a result, the media has significantly influenced the manner in which people communicate information to one another. The increase in child abuse cases can therefore be attributed to the media.
For example, there are those people who take advantage of the media to lure young children into their traps whereby they later abuse them. The media has also been open to show how parents are not keen to advise their children on the various forms of abuse that they can be exposed to once they use the internet (Wroe, 2007). This is an indication that some parents and guardians are irresponsible since they expose their children to cyber criminals.
The Media has been very active in providing young children with information on the various risks that they can encounter over the internet. The parents are also advised on the various ways in which they can guard their children against cyber criminals.
The media does this by covering the incidences of children who have been exposed to cyber criminals and the repercussions that they experience. This serves as a form of public awareness so that people can devise measures that would protect their children from risks cyber criminals (Korbin, 2000).
Child abuse has been presented in the media whereby the media shows children being exposed to cruelty by their parents and guardians. There are parents who have been shown in the media beating up their children severely and denying them basic necessities. There have also been instances whereby parents have been shown abusing their children sexually. Some parents also do not report incidences where their children are assaulted by their relatives to protect their family name and reputation (Brown, Steele, & Walsh-Childers, 2002).
However, the media has been able to catch up with such incidences thereby showing the various forms of abuse and neglect that children go through in their own families. This has made people to be well aware of the various dangers that their children are exposed to whether they are at home or away.
This is because the media has shown incidences whereby children have been abused by relatives who are well trusted by the parents of the children. Parents who have witnessed these issues from the media have therefore been very keen to evaluate the people that they leave their children (Davidson, 2008).
The deaths and disappearance of those children who are abused continue to rise every day. This issue has attracted a lot of attention from health and welfare workers as well as child protection services. Without the media, most of these cases would not be revealed to the world and many people would be suffering in silence.
Therefore, with the coverage of the media, it has been possible to identify the children who are exposed to severe forms abuse. As a result, such children are able to receive donations from the public, especially if they incur major injuries from the abuse (Goddard & Saunders, 2001). The children who are neglected by their guardians or parents are also directed by the media to various care centers where they are given care and support.
However, this would not be possible if the media does not cover the incidences of those children who are exposed to abuse and neglect. Such children would, therefore, experience difficulties which they cannot manage to handle on their own. Also, neglected children might go to the streets where they would be exposed to severe forms of abuse that would difficult for them to handle (Brown, Steele, & Walsh-Childers, 2002).
There are people who normally do not like it when the media covers the incidences of child abuse in their homes. This is because dangerous people who might have participated in the abuse warn the members of such a family against revealing such information to the media otherwise they would face severe consequences.
In case the media covers such incidences, the members of the family where the child was abused would be in danger (Richardson & Bacon, 2003). It is therefore not advisable for the media to cover certain incidences of abuse in order to protect the interests of the people whose child is abused.
The media can be used to make people accountable to their children. There are people who neglect the activities of their children and do not show any concern for their wellbeing. As a result, it is important for the media to reveal such information to the public so that such families would be ashamed of the negative activities that they commit to their children.
In circumstances whereby parents and guardians do not pay attention to their children, the media shows the various hardships that neglected and abused children go through (Goddard & Saunders, 2001). Therefore, for those parents who love their children, they pay attention to the media and therefore exercise caution so that their children would not be exposed to any form of abuse.
Investigative journalism is an important act that the media engages in. The media identifies specific places whereby children are more prone to abuse and neglect. For example, there are various professionals such as doctors, priests, magistrates, and managers who have been known to expose small children to various forms of abuse (Goddard & Saunders, 2001).
In such circumstances, children might are warned against revealing any incidence of abuse to the media otherwise they would face severe consequences. Such children, therefore, continue to suffer in silence. However, when the media gets to know of the various forms of abuse that children are exposed to, media professionals disguise themselves in such a manner that no person would suspect them as coming from the media.
As a result, such people conduct investigations on all the forms of abuse that the professionals expose children to. When the investigators have gathered all the information that they need, they then compile a complete report and evidence on the various ways in which specific professionals abuse children (Ito, 2000).
This activity has been very effective in terms of exposing senior people who have the habit of abusing young children. The reporting of such incidences has been successful because the media is normally very persistent in addressing the various social issues that affect the public negatively.
The media also plays a very active role in court proceedings. They cover child abuse cases by senior people in order to see whether justice would be administered. For example, there have been instances whereby the media has covered case proceedings whereby justice is not administered and where the perpetrators of child abuse are set free (Gupta, 2006).
However, because of the attention that the media has paid on court proceedings especially regarding the people who engage in child abuse activities, justice has been administered whereby the perpetrators get the punishment that they deserve. The courts do this in order to build the confidence of the public in them as well as shield themselves from being described as unprofessional in their activities.
From this analysis, therefore, it is true that the media has played a major role in terms of ensuring that justice is administered in courts systems. The courts administer justice in order for the public to have confidence in the processes that are followed while punishing the perpetrators of child abuse and neglect.
The trauma that children experience when they are exposed to abuse has made parents be very cautious when handling their children as well as when deciding the kind person that they can leave their children with (Wroe, 2007). In addition, the severe punishments that perpetrators of child abuse experience have also made incidences of child abuse to drop significantly (Gupta, 2006).
The society is also awakened by the media in that it is able to know the various ways in which it can identify the perpetrators of child abuse as well as know the various corrective measures it can take to enable it to minimize incidences of child abuse.
Brown, J. D., Steele, J. R., & Walsh-Childers, K. (2002). Sexual Teens, Sexual Media: Investigating Media’s Influence on Adolescent Sexuality. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Davidson, J. C. (2008). Child Sexual Abuse: Media Representations and Government Reactions. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Goddard, C., & Saunders, B. J. (2001). Child Abuse and the Media. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Gupta, O. (2006). Media Society And Culture. New Delhi: Gyan Books.
Ito, T. (2000). Child Abuse. New York: Lucent Books.
Korbin, J. E. (2000). Child Abuse and Neglect: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. California: University of California Press.
Richardson, S., & Bacon, H. (2003). Creative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Dilemmas. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Wroe, A. (2007). Social Work, Child Abuse and the Press. Michigan: University of Michigan.
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