ASSESSMENT OF THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It has been the general assumption that children with reasonable physical care would grow into normal happy adulthood. But scientific investigations by psychologists, sociologist and psychiatrists regarding personality development has uncovered the greater importance of growing up and its lasting effects on the total personality of a person. Adult personality has its root in childhood. What we can do as adults are largely determined by the ways in which we were allowed to experience inevitable events of childhood.
Thus the aim of this research work is to shed more light on the issue of child abuse and neglect in Kaduna South Local Government of Kaduna State.
A child is neglected when he lacks continuous physical and emotional contact with his mother. Children under this category may be due to the loss of a mother or both parents or the separation of both parents, this child may be sent to nursery school or orphanages with many children which makes it difficult for special individual attention to be rendered to each child. Those children are therefore brought up by strangers which could be changed at different times due to the shift of their studies.
Child abuse on the other hand can be defined as the portion of harm to children that result from human action or inaction that is prescribed, proximate and preventable. The definition recognizes that such harm is no accident but something perpetrated on children by others, usually intestinally and that the actors inflicting this harm do not enjoy society's approval. It is also pointed out that abuse generally comes from the child's immediate environment and that it is preventable child neglect is a passive form of maltreatment or abuse UNICEF (1986).
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Kaduna South Local Government Area was created on 23rd September 1991 by the Babangida’s regime. Hitherto it was part and parcel of Kaduna Local Government. The Local Government Council has its headquarters located at Makera, comprising two districts namely: Tudun Wada and Makera, each district is headed by a district head and supported by village and wards councillors, Kaduna South shares a common boundary with Kaduna North to the North West. The two districts share a common boundary with the other districts located in the three local government areas. Kaduna South has a population of 373,576 as per the 2006 census.
However, in the education, the area is having about (29) public schools which (are 8) primary schools in Tudun Wada and (13) in Makera and five (5) secondary schools in Tudunwada and three (3) in Makeri.
Furthermore, the area is having private nursery/primary and secondary schools approximately one hundred and twenty-four (124) i.e. 80 in Tudun Wada and (44) in Makera district.
Adult education programmes and constructed apart from the various vocational training centres, run by various organizations like (YMCA). Apart from Kaduna Polytechnic as a higher institution of learning. There is a prison school at Barnawa, a Health Institution like the school of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of psychiatric Barnawa.
There are over fifty (50) large and small scale industries that abound in the local government and some include, textile, defence corporation, Nigeria Breweries, Peugeot Automobile, KFCC, fertilizer superphosphate, pharmaceutical company, and blanket industry just to mention a few.
To boost commercial activities in the local government area and the markets and up to R. Tourist attractions and hotels, the council has six (6) tourist areas and about twelve (12) hotels. Kaduna South Local Government areas are well connected by road, bridges and railway line system.
Thus, the above mentioned geographical, emotional, educational and administrative features taken together give Kaduna South its unique characteristics. It was discovered that the habitants have little or no knowledge of what child abuse is.
Some with dishes roaming the street and begging for food and aims for a certain belief. They were also denied educational pursuit and a child's right to decide for themselves what they want to become in future. Without being told, you will see for yourself how little children hawk around from morning till evening for financial support, this researcher strongly, believes is one of the causes of child abuse and neglect because this kind of occupation endangers the child’s life and expose him to a hard situation.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The researcher’s concern to delve into the affairs of CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State becomes necessary because the record available to this researcher shows that since the creation of Kaduna South from the former Kaduna local government there was not been any necessary attempt for research work into the activities of child abuse and neglect.
However, it is widely believed that the good image of any social or community depends largely on the social background of its children. Therefore, the problem of child abuse in the local government has been total neglect to large extent. A situation brought about probably by the undesirable element in our society mostly associated with women folk and partly perhaps the government who have not given enough attention to the ugly situation in the area but rather sitting on chairs in offices. Based on this, the researcher will seriousness wishes to know the activities to the authority concerned with the affairs of child abuse, towards educating the people of the area and of course suggest ways on how to improve and implements their programme towards making the entire area a conducive place of living.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of the study:
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research question guided the study:
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is the opportunity to do or achieve something which children are being abused of more to say, production of two many children to the wide world and not taking care of them should be eradicated by family planning to space the recreation of babies.
However, the absence of a mother in any family setting can also perhaps bring about child abuse and the study is out in looking for a suitable solution to resolving it, through the government and the societal people to be aware of the child to try to come affection, warmth etc.
Finally, the scope of the study is to improve the standard of living of clued not by seen influenced by the absence of one parent and two much of giving birth babies.
The government should Endeavour to encourage agencies to treat such a social ill or evil in the society.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is an attempt to provide evidence and identify patterns of child abuse and neglect with a view to offering suggestions and recommendations that will date the level. This study would be of immense value to parents, counselling teachers with low levels of education and children. The finding and suggestions resulting from this study will go a long way in helping parents and guidance to know irritating entrance or actions, it has on youth and children or young once which can be economical, psychological or society which will enable parents, adults, to adjust in order to ensure smooth development of children. It will also address the practical problem which when left will cut at the very root of civilized ethics particularly significant at present a bold attempt to go into an area of scarcity literature.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Child: Child is defined as a dependent person in the custody of a parent or guardian for the protection of his/her life.
Abuse: Is any deliberate act by a person: or group of people in a society designed to inflict on a child or parent normal, mental physical, emotional and normal development.
Neglect: This usually occurs when families fail on their own part to provide the necessary need for their children such as food, medical care or being deprived of the essential need of life or it is a situation where one shows a sign of suffering or lack of care and attention.
Child care: This is care which is supposed to be given to children by those who are responsible for looking after them provide them with childcare facilities.
Child Abuse: Those are the cruel treatment of children by adults involving violence or sexual activities which is capable of affecting physically, mentally and psychologically.
The child abuse menace is as old as the birth of the first child, until very recently child maltreatment has never been seen as a social problem. It was falsely assumed that such physical punishments are supposed to correct bad behaviour and ensure conformity. But the consequential distorted personality of the child disproves the assumption. This study aims at showing that it is only through the care of children will one gains experience and develops an interest in finding out more about the affliction of the Nigerian child. In addition, the researcher hopes that those who are able to read this will get to know and pray that the past experiences of this silent suffering will serve to prevent tomorrow’s children from a similar fate.