In my view, physical abuse may be defined as any deliberate action resulting in injury or distress to a given person through bodily contact. It is important to note that parents’ observed actions play an essential role in understanding the term physical abuse, particularly when it comes to children. This is because adults have typically lived longer than children; hence the parent is well conversant and can differentiate right from wrong when taking care of a child despite their age (Dosari et al., 2017). Nonetheless, some parents are not well versed with the extent of punishing a child for doing something wrong; in such scenarios, our observations may be valuable in ensuring that the parent desists from that harsh approach. It is vital to point out that the parent’s excessive punishment is an observed action of physical abuse to the child, and the necessary steps should be taken to prevent such occurrences (Braizer, 2018).
On the other hand, if the definition of physical abuse is based on the child’s reaction, it would be difficult to judge if the action was right or wrong. If the child’s reaction is assessed, there are high chances that the matter in consideration would be how the child handles trauma. Another school of thought will be if the child tends acting up in a bid to cover up for their wrongdoing (Thulin et al., 2019). In many cases, the parent’s motivation is to correct the child, implying that the parent has good intentions when punishing the child. In this regard, I think that the parent’s observed actions are the most important in assessing the definition of physical abuse. This is because if the parents’ actions are excessive and causing visible harm to the child, such as marks on the skin, it will be evident that the parent may have malicious intent towards the child.
Braizer, Y. (2018, June 25). Recognizing child abuse. Medical News Today, pp. 1-9.
Dosari, M. N., Ferwana, M., Abdulmajeed, I., Aldossari, K. k., & Al-Zahrani, J. M. (2017, May). Parents’ perceptions about child abuse and their impact on physical and emotional child abuse: A study from primary health care centers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family & Community Medicine, 24(2), 79-85. doi:10.4103/2230-8229.205110
Thulin, J., Kjellgren, C., & Nilsson, D. (2019, January 9). Children’s Disclosure of Physical Abuse – The Process of Disclosing and the Responses from Social Welfare Workers. Child Care in Practice, 26(3), 285-299. doi:10.1080/13575279.2018.1555139