Child Maltreatment Is A Serious And Vicious Epidemic That Affects Children And Families

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Child maltreatment is a serious and vicious epidemic that affects children and families all over the world. History has shown that child maltreatment has been going on since ancient times and has been practiced by a variety of civilizations. A major threat to the social, physical and emotional well-being of children is child abuse and neglect (Dake et al., 2003). Child abuse is the intentional harming of a child either physically, emotionally or sexually. Child neglect is the failure to provide the basic needs for a child that is essential for survival. Violence in any form is a way to show the power and authority one possesses against a perceived weaker individual. Cruelty against children “is a culmination of the societies’ disregard to the protection of its most vulnerable members and disrespect to their basic human rights” (Al-Mahroos, 2007). The highest risk of neglect were in the children who were handicapped, females, and malnourished and the highest risk of abuse were in the children who were from unwanted pregnancies, youth marriages, and families with financial difficulties (Finkelhor et al., 1988). In the pre-Islamic era, it was common practice to bury unwanted children alive; most of who were females. This notion was mentioned in the Quran; “And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked: for what sin she was killed?” 1 After the spread of Islam, children’s rights were better recognized and this practice was no longer existent. Child abuse and neglect however
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