Every April 25 we remember the day of “The fight against child abuse” with the aim of promoting
the rights of children worldwide and to raise awareness in society about the consequences of child
Child maltreatment is defined as abuse and neglect of persons under the age of 18, and includes
all types of physical or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, neglect, and commercial or
other exploitation that cause or may cause a harm to the health, development or dignity of the
child, or jeopardize their survival, in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.
Exposure to intimate partner violence is also sometimes included among the forms of child
SOME OF THE KINDS OF ABUSE ARE:
– Physical: any intentional action that causes physical damage to the child, whether visible or not,
such as: burns, blows, pinches, fractures, among others.
– Psychological: it is any attitude that provokes in the boy or girl feelings of disqualification or
– Due to negligence: it is the non-protection of the child against eventual risks and the non-
attendance of their basic needs when the parents or caregivers are empowered to do so.
– Sexual abuse: it is the abusive exercise of power by an adult towards a child that implies the
sexual satisfaction of those who exercise it to the detriment and ignorance of the child’s will.
– Another way of subjecting children to situations of violence is when they witness mistreatment
or sexual abuse of third parties. It is considered that the consequences are similar to those
experienced by children who experience the situation of violence directly.
WHERE TO REPORT CASES OF CHILD VIOLENCE
It is essential to go to the institutions that protect the rights of children to put an end to the cycle
of violence of which they may be victims, for this it is important to be attentive to the indicators,
identify them and report them.
Within the judicial sphere, people who have knowledge of or are witnesses to any fact that
violates the rights of children and adolescents, such as: physical, psychological and/or verbal
abuse, abandonment and neglect, can file a complaint at any office or intended institution.
What does the Bible, Word of God, say about child abuse?
The Bible specifically does not use the term child abuse. What the Bible does tell us is this:
Children have a special place in God’s heart and anyone who hurts a child is bringing God’s wrath
upon themselves. When Jesus’ disciples tried to prevent the children from coming to Jesus, He
rebuked them and invited the children to be by His side, saying, “Let the children come to me, and
do not forbid them; for of the such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Then He taking them in
His arms blessed them. The bible promotes the blessing of children, not the abuse of them.
Children are abused and mistreated in different ways, and all of this is abominable to God. The
Bible forbids child abuse in its warnings against undue anger. Many children are subjected to
beatings as a result of anger and other physical abuse when their parents take out their anger and
frustration on their children. Although some forms of physical discipline may be biblically
acceptable, such discipline should never be applied in a moment of anger. Paul reminds the
Ephesians, “Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give
place to the devil” (Eph. 4:26-27). Proverbs 29:22 says, “A wrathful man stirs up contentions, and
the furious man often sins.” There is no place for unjust or uncontrolled anger in the life of a
Christian. Anger must be confessed to God and dealt with appropriately long before the time for
abuse arrives. Physical against a child or against any other person.
The Bible also prohibits child abuse in its condemnation of sexual sin. Sexual abuse or harassment
is particularly devastating, and scripture abounds with warnings against this sin. Forcing a child
into a sexual act is a wicked and horrible crime. In addition to committing a sexual sin, the author
is also attacking the innocence of one of the most vulnerable people in the world. Sexual abuse
violates everything about a person, from their understanding of themselves to physical boundaries
and their spiritual connection to God. In a child, these things are so poorly established that they
are often life-long and without the right help they cannot heal.
Another way the Bible condemns child abuse is in its prohibition of psychological and emotional
abuse. Ephesians 6:4 warns parents not to “exasperate” or provoke their children, but to bring
them up in the “discipline and admonition of the Lord.” Hurtful and unloving verbal discipline,
emotional manipulation, or unstable environments take children’s minds away from their parents
and portray their instruction and correction as futile. Parents can provoke and exasperate their
children by placing unreasonable demands on them, constantly belittling or finding fault with
them, inflicting injuries that can be as bad or worse than any physical punishment can cause.
Colossians 3:21 tells us not to “exasperate” our children lest they become discouraged. Ephesians
4:15-16, 25-32 says that we should speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up,
that no corrupted words come out of our mouths, especially towards the tender hearts and minds
It is very clear what the Bible teaches on the subject of child abuse. Child abuse in any of its forms
is wrong. Anyone who suspects that a child is being abused has an obligation to report it to the
proper authorities. Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or who has abused children can find
hope, healing and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Talking to a Christian pastor or finding a Christian
counselor or support group can be a good place to start the journey to wholeness.
The position of the Churches is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any of its forms and those who
exercise abuse will be held accountable before God.
Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2. The Lord expects us to do all we can to prevent abuse and
protect and help victims.
Ivonne Pereira Díaz.
World Vice President