Posted in:

The Potential for the Media to Recognize Child Abuse

Even in the most developed nations, misbehavior towards children is a major social problem with ramifications over many aspects of individual and social life. The main problem that occurs in the prevention of this issue is that recognizing child abuse is not as straightforward as it may seem at a first glance. Some people don’t report child abuse when they witness it because they don’t have the psychological expertise to identify it as such. Even adult former victims don’t always recognize they were abused in childhood, although they suffer the consequences unknowingly.

In recent years, the media industry has taken on the role of defining and identifying this problem. There are numerous examples of TV shows, films, and news stories that accurately depict instances of child maltreatment and underline the severity of this widespread social problem. This article tackles this difficult subject, showing how media representations help us understand it better. In order to report child abuse, people must know how to recognize it.

Child Abuse in Media

Seeing children being abused in films and TV shows can be unbearable for viewers, especially after knowing that these things happen in real life too. It’s hurtful to acknowledge the existence of such traumatic events. However, these scenes and episodes are very important in raising awareness about the many forms that mistreatment of children can take.

Although most old films and TV shows refer to abuse that no longer happens as regularly due to the development of child protection services, child abuse is far from being completely eradicated from society. Many recent films and TV shows demonstrate that it occurs in households of various socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

Through its ability to convey real-life scenarios in a fictional context, media has an educational dimension. Films, tv shows, news, and books are material that students analyze constantly in order to understand social, political, and cultural trends. Writing an essay about a film that depicts a child being mistreated will force a student to analyze deeply this issue. This is one of the ways in which media helps in recognizing child abuse.

Students from any field of study, especially psychology and counseling, can benefit from being exposed to films and shows on related topics. Free examples of a persuasive essay on child abuse show that educational institutions also play a role in child abuse by creating the context for it to happen. Misbehavior towards children is not perpetrated only by family members as most people assume, but also by educators or older classmates. This is evident in films that depict school environments.

Child Abuse Films

Child abuse research papers show that the severity of child maltreatment is often downplayed, especially because children cannot voice their feelings and emotions eloquently. Because they trust adults that hold authority, they are the most vulnerable victims in the world. To understand the powerful impact that media can have in giving a voice to victims, child abuse films can be immensely helpful. A child abuse essay that explores the depth of this issue can start from an analysis of these films.

“No Child of Mine”
This is the story of Kerry, a little girl who suffers traumatic abuse from every person in her life, with no help from anywhere. After finding a warm home, she turns to face her experiences.

“Radio Flyer”
The myth of the abusive step-parent comes to life in this movie, where little Bobby’s life changes when his stepfather starts beating him regularly. This forces Bobby and his brother to seek an escape. The only solution they see is running away or committing suicide.

Some of the saddest child abuse stories are probably those where the abuser is one of the parents. “Precious” is a story of rape and desolation, where a girl learns to find bright spots in her tragic life.

Child Abuse in TV Shows

Recognizing child abuse in TV shows is a much more complicated process than with child abuse films. The reason is that the genre of the TV show can dictate people’s perception of the facts depicted. In comedies, instances of child maltreatment are not taken seriously while in drama, these are exaggerated for a greater emotional impact. Nonetheless, watching TV shows puts the viewer in front of various forms of child mistreatment that can resemble real-life incidents. The examples below are suggestive in this regard and can lead people to identify and therefore report child abuse when they encounter it.

In this beloved comedy, Monica suffers emotional abuse from her mother who constantly criticizes her life choices or ignores her needs. When Chandler speaks about his childhood, he recalls moments when his parents neglected him and even forgot about him during important celebrations. The result is that both Monica and Chandler have emotional issues as adults, dealing with insecurity, low self-esteem, and a desperate need for validation. They promise to themselves to be good parents, which comes to the viewer as a lesson to be learned about the dangers of mistreating a child.

“Games of Thrones”
In a drama as intense of Games of Thrones where violence is widespread, episodes of child abuse are still hard to watch. Tywin Lannister is never physically abusive towards his children, but he criticizes and demeans them with a total lack of empathy, sometimes engaging in vindictive behavior. Another character, Craster, rapes his daughters. Selyse shows hatred towards her daughter Shireen and neglects her. Bronn was regularly beaten by his father, and his mother even broke his nose once. All these scenes have a deep impact on the viewer.

Educated essays on child abuse show that people identify harmful behaviors towards children when their empathy is challenged through a high-impact story. People relate to characters in movies and TV shows, understand their suffering and their joys, and thus are more likely to notice the consequences of certain negative behaviors. For cases of child abuse, this is a helpful way to raise awareness.