Visual Sociology on Child Abuse

  • Uncategorized

VisualSociology on Child Abuse

VisualSociology on Child Abuse

Visualsociology can be viewed as a dimension in the larger sociologydiscipline that is concerned with visual aspects of life. It takesinto concern the daily communication among individuals by the use ofoptical communication devices. It mainly deals with therepresentation of information by use of electronic platforms such ascomputers, televisions and the various social networks that areavailable to society. Visual media is an avenue promoting childabuse. It supports various activities and events that result in thecreation and promotion of social and societal problems. Since theadvent of media as an avenue for entertainment, the rate of childabuse has been on the rise. Various programs whose audience alsocontain children promote this social ill. Programs such as soapoperas, drama, and films have a broad viewership base thus reachingaudiences in a diverse range [ CITATION Liz16 l 1033 ].

Figure1: Violently abused teen

Visualmedia can manipulate and exaggerate situations to attract anaudience. As such, many programs that are on viewership often containexaggerations to captivate the minds of the target audience. Sincemost of the time, the young generation is the target of mostprograms, the programs I am offing are commonly portrayed toencourage minors to try out some activities which otherwise are notadvisable. Visual media can be largely blamed for the sexual abuse ofchildren. Moreover, the presence of social media networks hasresulted in a breakdown in the relationship between children andtheir parents who are supposed to take care of them. Such breakdownhas led to the neglect of children by their parents since asobserved most children nowadays are preoccupied with visual mediaplatforms that if not well managed a negative impact towards thedevelopment of the child. Platforms such as Instagram, snap chat,Facebook and Twitter provide an interactive visual segment which isused to spread different types of messages and if not appropriatelyutilized, they provide an avenue towards child abuse [ CITATION Luc16 l 1033 ].

Figure2: Calls to halt child abuse

However,after the discovery of the impact of media towards the generalpopulation, most of the broadcasting corporations have taken it totheir arms to eradicate child abuse. This can be evidenced by theadaptation of program ratings that specify the age of targetaudience. The media has also been a strong crusader against childrenabuse. Most of the media houses and networks choose to focus on childabuse cases. About physical abuse, the media is entirely concernedwith highlighting the plight of those physically abused children.This has resulted to a widespread outrage towards child abuse and hasencouraged the development of federal agencies and drafting of lawsprotecting children against ill-treatment. By extensive coverage oftragic events concerning child abuse, it has significantly preventedabuse towards children. Any potential offender of child abuse tendsto be made aware of the consequences of their actions [ CITATION Liz16 l 1033 ].

Figure3: Attempts to halt child abuse

Televisionnetworks and other visual media networks have been used to covertragic eventsthat have affected children and brought out scandals that have forcedthe government to take up reasonable actions and interventions thatpromote the rights of children, the main aim being the prevention ofchild abuse. The media has also played a key role in bringing outaccountability in institutions where children are involved. Mostly,the media never spares those schools that are viewed to promote childabuse. This is mostly done by investigative reports, which bring tolight any observed abuse towards children. Any abuse is it sexual orphysical abuse noted is often presented to the public for judgment.For example, teachers who have been suspected to exploitate theirstudents sexually or physically are often exposed. This often resultsin severe punishment being awarded to the offenders hencediscouraging similar offenses from ever happening [ CITATION Luc16 l 1033 ].

Moreover,since the media is not a puppet of the government, any child abuseoffense that has been committed by a government official includingchild abuse crimes by the police department are often exposed to thepublic hence drawing mass criticisms. This has often resulted in massprotests against the government with the aim of ensuring that thegovernment does not perpetrate child abuse but rather protectchildren against abuse. The media can also be credited for exposingthe massive child abuse cases report to have been committed by someof the priests of the Catholic Church. Without fear but with the aimof shedding light to the rumors regarding allegations of child abusewitnessed in the church, the media exposed the truth that resulted togovernment interventions, which aim at reducing child abuse [ CITATION Liz16 l 1033 ].

Figure4: Abused Child

Visualmedia has often been used to broadcast investigative documentariesshowing shocking child abuse by institutions and individuals. Itbrings the government to toes concerning any child abuse claims made.It provides the evidence from which conclusions can be drawn andoften promotes general decision making with the aim of preventing andpossibly eliminating child abuse. Since most victims of child abusehave gone through traumatizing events, visual means of communicationshave been used to enable them to share their experiences and as suchbe able to connect with other individuals who share the sameexperiences. By sharing out, victims of child abuse often tend to getfurther help and understanding from the society and are thereforeable to integrate and blend in with other individuals easily. Bysharing out, the burden of guilt and shame is often relieved sincemore people can understand their perceptions and views. This alsoresults to an improved self-esteem by victims of child abuseresulting in better relationships with other individuals [ CITATION Liz16 l 1033 ].

Figure5: Abused Infant

Visualmedia has also been used to advocate against child abuse be itsexual, emotional, neglect or sexual assault. This is done mainly bythe release of films based on the true-life stories of individualswho were victims of child abuse. Such visual media programs doportray the actual events and the harm caused by the various forms ofchild abuse. As a result, it makes the public aware of the differenttypes of child abuse and the punitive actions that can be takenagainst them. Furthermore, such visual media platforms can be usedfor educational purposes since they can be used in classroom settingst enlightened the naïve children on what to expect or not expectfrom their seniors. Despite the numerous disadvantages that can beattributed to visual media devices in influencing child abuse, therealso exists positive influences that result to involvement bydifferent relevant parties whose aim is to eliminate child abuse.Visual media has been used as a tool in visual sociology to educate,draw a reaction and prevent any actions concerning child abuse [ CITATION Luc16 l 1033 ].


Pauwels, L. (2016). Visual Sociology Reframed: An Analytical Synthesis and Discussion of Visual Methods in Social and Cultural Research. 1-142.

Settembrino, L. G. (2016). Teaching Inequalities: Using Public Transportation and Visual Sociology to Make It Real. 201-211.

Close Menu