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Articles by Beaumont Todd

We will be publishing articles written by Beaumont Todd, who writes for the Nassau Guardian. For those of who may have missed the articles, we hope you will find them informative and useful. Beaumont welcomes your comments and suggestions.

THE BAHAMAS CRISIS CENTRE

Hidden Bruises

John is an eight year old school boy who seems never able to concentrate in class and pay attention during his lessons. His home room teacher had been trying to reach his parents for weeks with no success. “Why haven’t I heard a reply from your mother or father?” Mrs. Smith asked concerned by the way John was looking very thin lately.

John used to be a very active child in school. He would be excited to answer questions and participate in all class activities. Lately he seemed to lack energy Mrs. Smith noticed and he rarely seemed to be interested in the lesson at all anymore. Mrs. Smith had questioned John about why he didn’t seem interested in his work anymore. John simply answered he didn’t know and would answer no further.

For weeks Mrs. Smith had attempted to reach John’s parents. Decidedly it had gone on long enough, and Mrs. Smith spoke to the Principal who decided to intervene. After making a visit to John’s home the principal was able to report back to Mrs. Smith about John’s home situation. Apparently John’s parents had gone through a recent divorce. After conversing with John’s mother the principal was able to deduce from her conversation that no one noticed John’s sudden and recent change of behavior. John’s mother had further confided to the principal that she felt overwhelmed because it was only she now raising her four children and she was working two jobs just to meet her bills and responsibilities.

John’s mother had been so stressed out by her sudden change of circumstances that she no longer had time to pay attention to John’s siblings or him as she did before. In addition to being unaware of what was occurring in her children’s lives she had developed a severe case of depression. This led to her coming home and taking out her anger on her children. She started shouting at them or blaming them for her problems.

John not knowing how to relate or understand the sudden change in his mother became withdrawn and started to not eat due to a lack of an appetite. He blamed himself for his mother’s problems. John’s principal suggested that both his mother and her children seek aid and counseling to help them through their trying period.

Healing the Nation

All forms of abuse hurt! Child abuse seems to be one of the most destructive forms of abuse in our society today. For whatever form it may take child abuse does not just affect the present situation in our communities and nation but also our future stability and progress. Considering that many of the children that are abused grow to be abused adults, who carry the same scars of child hood within themselves. Unless they seek or are given help to heal those wounds incurred as a child, these same adults will practice or continue their same learnt behavior into adulthood. This will in turn affect their relationships, possibly work ethics and even the manner in which they raise and treat their own children.

What is child abuse?

Child Abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm, Sexual Abuse, or exploitation of a child or which places the child in an imminent risk of serious harm.

Child abuse can occur in any number of ways including Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Neglect and Sexual Abuse. Today’s discussion focuses on Emotional Abuse and Neglect. Emotional Abuse and Neglect can go from mild to very extreme cases. However even a mild case of emotional abuse or neglect can greatly affect a child’s development and ability to perform.

CHILD ABUSE IS EVERYONE’S PROBLEM.

Emotional Child Abuse and Neglect

Emotional abuse is the repeated rejection and humiliation of a child, constant negative communication, withholding love and affection and the ultimate destruction of the child’s self-esteem.

Signs of emotional abuse can include physical problems resulting from stress, poor performance at school or low self-esteem.

The child may appear depressed, excessively passive or aggressive, experience sleep problems and have slow development.

Neglect is the failure, intentional or unintentional, of a parent or guardian to provide food, shelter, clothing, health care and education for a child.

Signs of neglect can include unkempt appearance, lack of medical or dental care, and developmental lags.

A child who is neglected may beg for food, steal, show lack of interest in anything, appear flat, tired and listless, and have constant fatigue.

We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.

For more information check out our website at http://www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us at 328-0922. If you have, or someone you know, has been the victim of child abuse, you can also call Child Protective Services on 322-2POD, 326-1451, 326-0526 or 326-5560 or the Child Abuse Hotline: 322-2763

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