Child Abuse in Malaysia: Types and Causes

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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Abuse is known as someone or something that is or will be used for a bad purpose. Abuse will usually happen among any children, teenagers or adults especially women. One of the most happening abuse among people is child abuse. Child abuse has been one of the most current issues in Malaysia. What is child abuse? Child abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to a child or puts a child at risk of harm (Gupta N, 2012). There are several types of child abuse. For example, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, nowadays most of the children are abused physically and sexually and these have been done by the children’s own parents, step – parents, siblings, babysitters, school teachers and strangers. The children are also abused emotionally and they were neglected by their own parents too.

Types of child abuse

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Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves physical aggression directed at a child by an adult (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). Most nations with child-abuse laws consider the deliberate infliction of serious injuries, or actions that place the child at obvious risk of serious injury or death, to be illegal (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). Bruises, scratches, burns, broken legs, lacerations, as well as repeated “mishaps,” and rough treatment that could cause physical injury, can be physical abuse (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). Physical abuse can come in many forms, although the distinction between child discipline and abuse is often poorly defined (Khademi G and etc, 2015).

Sexual abuse

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation (Medline Plus, 2014). Sexual abuse refers to the participation of a child in a sexual act aimed toward the physical gratification or the financial profit of the person committing the act (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). Forms of CSA include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact with a child, physical contact with the child's genitals, viewing of the child's genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography (Medline Plus, 2014).

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is defined as the production of psychological and social defects in the growth of a child as a result of behaviour such as loud yelling, coarse and rude attitude, inattention, harsh criticism, and denigration of the child's personality (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). There are other illustrations that could cause emotional abuse such as name – calling, ridicule, degradation, destruction of personal belongings, torture or killing of a pet, excessive criticism, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding communication and routine labelling or humiliation.


Child neglect is the failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision to the degree that the child’s health, safety and well – being are threatened with harm. Neglect is also a lack of attention from the people surrounding a child and the non – provision of the relevant and adequate necessities for the child’s survival, which would be a lacking in attention, love and nurture (Theoklitou D and etc., 2012). Neglected children may experience delays in physical and psychosocial development, possibly resulting in psychopathology and impaired neuropsychological functions including executive function, attention, processing speed, language, memory and social skills (, 2012).

Causes of child abuse

Usually, any children with a low birth weight than normal birth weight, have an ill, or they were born as a disable are more likely to be the abuser’s target since the children cannot resist well because of their problem. There are also children who were born in a healthy condition but they are abused by some irresponsible people. Abuser are abusing the children because of some factors. The factors that contribute to child abuse are lack of education, the abuser was abused when he or she was a child, poor emotional control, depression, commit sex for self – gratification and more. Although there are various causes of child abuse, only certain causes do contribute to each kind of abuse.

Physical abuse

Poor emotional control

Every person in this world can get many emotions in their daily life. The examples of emotions are anger, sad, anxiety and more. In the case of physical abuse, anger is more likely the emotion that will be expressed by someone. Usually, a person will only get angry when someone does something wrong or the person ruins other’s work but there are some people who are good at controlling their emotions. Not only that, some people do get angry for no reasons at someone else and they may indicate their anger at a victim.

Unfortunately, the victim will usually be the abuser’s children. The person will express his or her anger by violating or torture their child. He or she will use anything that looks like metal or long stick or rubber. The examples are chain, rubber hose, baton, silver fork and more. Figure 1 shows that things that are used to abuse a child (Refer to Figure 1 in Appendix).

By using these things, the child would have bruises all over his or her body. The bruises could be severe if the abuser abuses the child for a long period and this could lead to the child’s death. Figure 2 shows that a child with many bruises on his or her body (Refer to Figure 2 in Appendix). Abusing physically also could make a child’s bone to get broken easily because he or she will be beaten with a stick or metal.
What will happen to him or her if the child is abused physically? The child may lose his or her relationship with the parents. This is because since the parents are beating their child out of anger, the child may think that his or her parents are not loving them anymore. Hence, their relationship may loosen up easily. This could also lead them to follow their friends and do whatever they want such as smoking, taking drugs and drinking alcohol.

The abuser was abused when he or she was a child

Abusing a child could also be done if the abuser was abused when he or she was a child. The abuser childhood could be terrible too as they were abused by their parents and because of that when they are grown – up they will abuse someone else especially their own child. This will only happen if they have at least one child. If they have no child in their family, they will abuse other family’s child by babysitting the child while the child’s parents are gone to work.

Why are they abusing the other children as well? This is because of their instinct in abusing the child as the abuser was abused when he or she was a child. This will also give a satisfaction to the abuser as they are abusing a child. How will they get a satisfaction? The abuser can get a satisfaction by watching the child who will be crying in pain.

As a conclusion, every person who was abused when they were young could possibly abuse the other children when they have grown – up. Some people might also think that the child should not get a safe and beautiful life and they should be deserved with a misery life that is not safe at all. Thus, they will abuse the child.

Sexual abuse

Commit sex for self - gratification

Committing a sex is not crime in Malaysia when a male and a female are happily married as they want to have some children. It is forbidden in Malaysia for every adult who is over than 18 years old to commit a sex without getting married as it is known as a severe crime if someone commits it. The consequences for those who commit sex without getting married are possibly living in the jail for the rest of their life and also whipping at their bottom for almost 50 times.

Unfortunately, most of the people from foreign countries are just doing sex without even getting married. Why are some people doing sex when they are not even married yet? It is because they want to get a self – gratification. Hence, those who are addicted to sex they will try to find a way to do sex. Most of the time, it is the males who want to do sex and they will usually target the younger ones who will usually be in four to twelve years old. They are also some people who do sex with non – living objects such as doll but normally the main target will be a child.

This could be explained when they commit sex, they will usually touch the young girls’ private parts where the parts are forbidden to be touched by someone else except the owner. Touching a private part could make a girl lose her dignity as and this could lead the girl to commit suicide.

Emotional abuse


When a person is in depression, the person may change their attitude from being a normal person to abnormal person. They will act weirdly to everyone. Sometimes they will cry alone and take a lot of medication without even referring to a doctor. In our daily life, we will face depression when we are really sad about something or someone. This sadness is not an ordinary but it is a severe as the person will be hurt by someone or something. This sadness could be about relationship among couples where they got broken up because of some reasons, losing one person’s love as the person passed away, having a hard time to live a life and more.

Usually, young adults and teenagers will get depression easily because of those reasons. It is very rare for an adult to get depression

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Child Abuse in Malaysia: Types and Causes. (2020, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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