Friday, October 07, 2022 | Rabi' al-awwal 10, 1444 H
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Let’s spare their childhood!

Of all abuses the parental abuse seems to be the worst hitting their character and personality. Hence, the child health experts condemn the use of violence in any form

Whether mental or physical, child abuse cases top Sultanate’s priority when it comes to their handling. The government of Oman takes serious note of child abuse cases. It ensures all possible measures to protect child rights and spares none when someone is found indulging in such activities.

According to the Sultanate’s Child Protection Act, a child is entitled to various rights, including education, health, civic, economic, social, cultural and opinion rights. Oman observes zero-tolerance against child abuse.

“Oman has strict laws to protect child rights, and their protection is ensured with the support of the parents and other relatives’’, says Dr Nihal al Azizi, Head of Primary Healthcare, Supporting Service Section at the Ministry of Health.

The four major assaults against children, according to experts are: physical assault, mental assault, negligence and sexual abuse.

“If any child in one’s vicinity is suspected to be subjected to assault, one should inform the MoH on toll-free number 1100 and make the issue known to the public’’, urges Dr Salma al Amri, the focal point of child health.

If the child is found to have been subjected to violence, any type of exploitation or abuse, the child protection official is at liberty to take measures in accordance with the law.

If the doctor confirms a child abuse has taken place, the case is referred to Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) and the officials of the ministry will launch an investigation.

The case will then be referred to the Child Protection Committee at MoSD, MoE, MoH, ROP, Forensic Medicine or PP as the case may be, and either an awareness for the parents or the perpetrators be given the court will award punishment. If the child’s life is in danger, he/she will be referred to the child protection unit.

A child who is subjected to abuse may show signs of being guilty, ashamed or confused. In addition, the child may be scared to inform anyone about the abuse, especially when the abuser is one of the parents or relatives or other family members.

According to her, these kids would withdraw themselves from friends or routine activities, show changes in behaviour, become angry and show signs of hostility or hyperactivity.

“They also show a bout of anxiety or unusual fears, depression, lose their self-confidence, become rebellious or defiant and at times, they attempt to harm themselves.”

Out of all abuses, parental abuse seems to be the worst, hitting their character and personality. Hence, child health experts condemn the use of violence in any form. However, some people still use corporal punishment, such as spanking, to discipline the kids.

“But remember, any corporal punishment may leave emotional scars in their minds which will pave the way for unpleasantness at a later stage. Therefore, parental behaviours that give them pain, physical injury or emotional trauma even if they are done towards disciplining them, too amounts to be child abuse’’, Dr Salma adds.

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