Child abuse is a social problem as it affects the development of a state. This is because children who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow are abused physically, sexually, emotionally and are equally neglected. This has both short and long term consequences. The study was aimed at finding out how effective radio is in curbing child abuse in southeast Nigeria. The research project was anchored on agenda setting and spiral of silence theories. This research work utilized the survey research method and used the questionnaire as instrument for data collection to elicit information from the respondents. Data collected were analysed using SPSS, frequency distribution tables, graphs, charts and simple percentages. The study found out, among other things, that radio is relatively effective in combating child abuse. In other words, the effectiveness of radio in curbing child abuse is high but not very high. The result of the study shows that 38.3% said Yes that radio programmes are effective in combating child abuse, 20.1% said No while 37.5% could not say anything about the effectiveness of radio messages in combating child abuse and 4.2% did not respond to the question item. The study concludes that radio is effective in combating child abuse but its effectiveness is not overwhelming. Some recommendations include that child abuse programmes should be given more time, the programmes should equally be funded by government, people should also be encouraged to listen to radio programmes, corruption should also be fought to enable radio stations carry out their traditional social functions.

Title page
List of tables

1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Definition of Terms

2.1       Child Abuse: An Overview
2.2       Forms of Child Abuse and Signs of Abuse
2.3       Issues of Child Abuse
2.4       Causes of Child Abuse and Consequences of Child Abuse
2.5       Policies on Child Abuse
2.6       Radio Medium and Ideology
2.7       Functions of Radio
2.8       Empirical Review
2.9.0    Theoretical Framework
2.9.1    Agenda setting Theory
2.9.2    Spiral of Silence
2.9.3    Summary of literature

3.1       Research Design
3.2       Population of Study
3.3       Sample Size
3.4       Sampling Technique
3.5       Measuring Instruments
3.6       Validity of Research Instruments
3.7       Reliability Tests
3.8       Method of Instrument Administration
3.9       Method of Data Analysis and Presentation
3.10     Limitation of Study


5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations

1.1         Background of the Study
Children are the greatest gift to humanity and childhood is an important and
impressionable  stage  of  human  development  as  it  holds  the potential  to  the  future
development of any society (Lok & Sabha, 2013, p.1). They further opine that children

who are brought up in an environment, which is conducive to their intellectual physical

and social health, grow up to be responsible and productive members of society.

Mgbodile and Iwuh (2000, p.1) see children as the little human beings aged from

01 to 11 years who are found in our families. They went further to state that children have

certain characteristics by which we know them. Children are active members of our

families. They are full of energy and full of play. With their little voices, little noises and

patters of legs on the floor, they have no artificial boundaries. They have no hatred and

ill-feelings against anyone. Their anger is short-lived and they forgive and forget quite

easily.  When  they  quarrel,  it  doesn’t  take  them  time  to  iron  out their  differences,

reconcile and return to play ground.

OAU Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child says that a child means

every human being below the age of 18 years. (Olakanmi,2007, p.78).

In the same vein, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as anybody below the age of 18years when it says that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age (Olakanmi).

Children who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow are often abused by their

parents,  guardians  and  the  society at  large.  There  are  different  dimension of  child  abuse.

Different authors have different names for describing the forms. But all have similar patterns. For instance unite foresight.org/gender-power identifies four main categories. They include Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Sexual Abuse and Prostitution. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, NSPCC (2009) added Bulling as one of the types of child abuse.

The term Child abuse, according to the World Health Organization (1999) constitutes sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of relationship of responsibility, trust or power. A similar definition of the term is stated in the Child Abuse of the Federal Government of the USA which States that Child abuse is any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk or serious harm.

The incidence of child abuse abounds in Nigeria and is often regarded as part of the socialization process in Nigeria, and children cannot speak out, given their subordinate position in the home. Girls, especially Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and those fostered out, are increasingly vulnerable to sexual abuse. (Jones, 2011). He cited the discovery of one Non-governmental Organization (NGO) key informant who gave an example of an orphan abused sexually by her uncle which underscores the gender and age power dynamics often at play. [She said] “Uncle why do you want to do this, knowing that I do not have any parents and it is you I look up to as my parents?” “[yet, her uncle insisted]” if you have a tree you have been taking care of over the years, when the fruits begin to ripen, will you not want to be the first to take of it? (Jones,2011).

The following are the percentages of children who experienced maltreatment in 2005 neglect 62.8%, physical abuse 16.6%, sexual abuse 9.3% emotional/psychological abuse 7.1% medical neglect 2.0% and others 14.3%. the others/category listed above include abandonment, threats to harm the child, congenital drug addiction and other situations that are not counted as specific categories in National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCANDS). The percentages here add up to more than 100 percent because some children were victims of more than one type of maltreatment, United Nations Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS, 2007).

In some African countries, different forms of child abuse are very much prevalent. More prevalence of all forms of child abuse is found in Africa (Child Abuse Africa, 2003). Supporting this, Ameh (2002) asserts that this may be attributed to the cultural beliefs and existing norms in the society which may support the higher acceptance of abusive and neglectful behaviour in Africa. According to International Labour Organization (1997) about 10 million children under 15 years of age in Africa are in formal employment, working long hours with poor pay and exposed to substantial health hazards. This has devastating impact on the child’s physical and emotional wellbeing. In Africa, certain cultural norms promote sexual abuse of children such as child marriage, proxy marriage and religious practices, among others (Doye, 1990).

It is a common practice that children are found in the streets of many cities, towns, urban and rural areas in Nigeria when they should be in school or the comfort of their homes. Aderinto (2000) states that although most Nigerian children return home at the end of the day, a growing number including girls subsist and exist in the street. He maintains that most of the street children hawk goods like sachet water, smoked or dry fish, kolanuts, akpu, kunu, agidi, orange, ground nut, banana, vegetable and eggs among others on the highway and busy roads. Such practice remains an aspect of child labour which exposes many children to the problem of abuse (Ebigbo, 2003)......

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