Many children suffer at the hands of adults – often their own parents. They are beaten, kicked, thrown into walls, and/or burned with cigarettes. They have their heads held under the water of toilet bowls, are scalded by hot water, or are forced to stand in freezing showers until they pass out. A child could be stuffed into running washing machines or sexually molested, suffer from neglect in the forms of starvation and lack of medical attention, and still go unnoticed by outsiders.
In fact, it is estimated that three children die every day in the U.S. alone from one form of child abuse or another. It is a sickening practice that has no set standard of rules to finish off the persisting problem. Different states have different methods and agencies to help prevent abuse in the home, some work quite well while others bomb – a dangerous gamble when it comes to the life or mental state of a child.
The precise number of deaths each year is not known because of the extent of most fatality investigations that could be suspected as child abuse but are seen as open and shut death cases. A report from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, however, depicts more than three million reports of alleged child maltreatment practices in the year 1995 alone. Many more children are living with abuse rather than dying from it, too. So what steps are being taken to protect our nation’s children?
All states have a Child Protective Services (or CPS) system. This is the governmental system responsible for investigating reports of child abuse or neglect. In-state after state, the CPS agency lacks the resources to respond adequately to the overwhelming number of reports it is legislatively mandated to investigate. All fifty states have child abuse reporting laws requiring reports of suspected abuse to be made by specified professionals and others whose work brings them into regular contact with children.
Any citizen may report suspected abuse as state laws provide for reports to be made to the CPS agency or its equivalent, or to a law enforcement agency. In most states, investigations are conducted by CPS personnel, although law enforcement officers may also be involved. The basic concern of child welfare workers is for the safety of the child.
Assessment of the risks involved in leaving a child with its family must be made quickly because children cannot be removed from their families arbitrarily. Once a child has been removed, the goal of child welfare agencies is to return the child to the family. Ideally, caseworkers develop a plan to provide parents with the education of the care that children need, free from abuse or neglect.
This plan is not always carried out to its full intention. No state has the financial resources to provide all the services to the children and families who need them. A problem is that in the state after state, CPS workers have excessive caseloads, are paid low salaries, and lack adequate training for the sensitive work involved in investigating abuse reports, and participating in decisions to remove children from their families then placing them in foster care. The turnover rate among child welfare workers is exceptionally high.
A report done by the United States Department of Health and Human Services showed the rate of 30 percent to be the norm, annually. Whatever the reason – inadequate funding, unavailable services for children and families, high turnover rates, lack of training, overwhelming numbers of reports – questions are being raised about the CPS system. The system is based on the assumption that removal from a troubled family, followed by a return to the family when that can be done safely, is best for the child.
A different approach to the problems created by child abuse involves Family Preservation Services (FPS). Removal of the risk, rather than the child, is the goal of Family Preservation Services. FPS programs seek to modify the home environment or behavior of other family members so that it is at least as safe for the child to remain in the household as to be removed. Family preservation is based on the assumption that out of home care hurts children, and on the recognition that most families referred to Child Protective Service can and want to learn new ways of coping with stress. Rather than breaking families apart in order to treat them, intensive family preservation services seek to protect children and heal families by keeping them whole.
Specifically, FPS provides intensive services in the home to all the members of a troubled family for a relatively short time – four to six weeks. Professional staffs are usually assigned two, but no more than four, families at a time. Caseworkers are available to families twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A worker can stay as long as necessary to stabilize the household, whether that means six, ten, or twelve hours. Ten states have initiated FPS programs by legislation including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
Homebuilders, an FPS program based in Tacoma, Washington, provides the longest-running assessment of the effectiveness of family preservation services. From 1981 to 1994, Homebuilders saw 3,497 children. Evaluation data indicated that three months after completing the program, an average of 94 percent of the families had avoided out-of-home placement. Twelve-month follow-up data showed that placement had been averted in 88 percent of the cases. Furthermore, the cost for Homebuilders’ family services was only $3000 per case while the costs for an average foster family home placement in the state were $7586.
There is a downside to the Family Preservation Service, though. The track record of FPS seems impressive, but a closer look at another side reveals it’s not doing such a great job. According to the Clarke Foundation, there has never been a case of parental abuse or neglect causing serious injury or the death of a child while receiving family preservation services. But since the FPS provides services for a relatively short period of just a few weeks, there is no way of accurately predicting if after that short amount of observation that the parents are suddenly fit to care for a child.
A worker only stays in the house for a maximum of twelve hours – that is not long enough to assess whether the child is in danger and the true nature of the parents. Of course, no one is going to kill or seriously injure a child in front of a human services official. No studies are available that show, whether the abuse reoccurred after the Family Preservation Service’s four to six weeks with the family, was finished.
The Division of Family Services takes another approach to prevent child abuse. The staff is divided into units, working a variety of shifts and functions to best provide the services needed by the children and families. The response unit is responsible for receiving all reports of child abuse, neglect, and dependency. They determine the nature of the allegations and the appropriate response time for initiating an investigation of the allegations.
Once abuse or neglect is found or a significant risk of its occurrence is identified, cases are transferred to the treatment unit. Workers in these units are responsible for assessing family needs and connecting the family with appropriate resources and services to address those identified areas. They are also responsible for monitoring the family’s success at utilizing the available services and communicating with various service providers to assess the ongoing safety of the children and the progress of the family.
They close cases when significant progress has been achieved to eliminate or minimize the ongoing risk of abuse to the children. The Statewide Unification Unit is responsible for providing intensive reunification services for children who can potentially return home within six months. The staff works closely with the children, their natural family, and the care provider to facilitate smooth transitions and successful reunification. When the goal of returning children to their natural families is no longer appropriate, the social workers write Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) petitions, which, once approved by Family Court, allow children to become free for adoption.
They develop long term foster care plans for those children whose parental rights have been terminated, but for whom adoption or returning them to the home is not an appropriate goal. They are also responsible for providing assistance throughout the adoption process to support successful adoptive placements. It has been shown that through most personal accounts, that parent never really learn to take care of their children without using abuse. Because of this, it seems quite logical to make the main focus on protecting the child, then if returning them to their family is assessed as being completely logical, that is the way to go.
I propose that a system of “three strikes your out” be implemented. With this, the parent will lose rights to the child for a short time while they go through training and counseling. If they are deemed not insane, then they may care for the child again with the warning of what will happen to them. They will have a sort of parole officer that will check up on the family annually. On the second offense, there will be further counseling, jail time, and other means of reform. If they are granted custody again, they will be checked on frequently and unscheduled. If they can not handle the child without abuse from there, the child will be put up for adoption.
There are very long waiting lists for parents who would love to adopt a child and will provide a loving family that should be utilized. The state would let the new parents take care of the child financially but would pay for counseling of that child and training for the rest of the family on how to love on the abused. If in later years, the parent has redeemed him/herself, then they will be allowed to visit and take the child on trips and be allowed to be a friend. After the child has reached the age of eight-teen they will be allowed to decide who they would like to stay with.
No system for child protection is going to be full-proof. There are steps that can be taken to improve them. Any system is only as good as the people who implement it. Representative Kaye Steinmetz of Missouri is proposing legislation to require additional training for Child Protective Services workers, establish a state team to assist with investigations of difficult cases and provide for statewide protocols to ensure proper investigations. Representative Debbie Stabenow of Michigan advocates early identification of parents at risk of becoming abusers.
Michigan Perinatal Coaching project is an example of this. Developed by the state’s Children’s Trust Fund, the project matches parent volunteers with parents of newborns. Through the child’s first year, the volunteer provides support to the parents, whether that involves advice about discipline or other areas that new parents may find difficult. A similar program called Family Skill-Builder is offered in the state of Massachusetts. It offers an in-home case management series for families who are at risk of abusing and neglecting their children. It’s designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and to help families function independently.
Deborah Daro, director of research for the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, has several suggestions for legislators to consider. She maintains that states need to provide more services for victims of abuse, especially therapeutic, remedial, and support services. She says, “States also need to look at the quality of foster care. Foster care ought to be more than just giving a child a place to live.”
The goal in preventing child abuse should be permanency and stability for the child, whether that means a return to the family or, in some cases, termination of parental rights and adoption. The sooner that can be achieved the better. This can be accomplished by setting up time tables for review of foster care cases, and by establishing specific criteria for permanency planning and termination of parental rights. Another key to preventing child abuse is evaluating each situation case by case.
Placing a child in foster care may be the best decision for that particular case, while intensive family preservation services might be best for another. The best answer may lie in a combination of the ideas of different organizations. Individual attention to each case would personalize a plan to get each family on the road to a good, stable, and loving family life in less time.
Example #2 – A Problem of Child Abuse
Unfortunately, child abuse happens to be very common throughout the world. There are many different types of child abuse and many different reasons for the ongoing abuse. “Since 1999, the majority of children confirmed to be victims of child maltreatment experienced neglect being at 62.8%, Physical abuse 16.6%, Sexual abuse 9.3%, Emotional/psychological abuse 7.1%, Medical neglect 2.0%, and Other at 14.3%” (“Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics”). Whether the abuse is mild or severe, it is all abuse and can affect how a person thinks and feels.
Many people look at a family and assume since the family looks kind and put-together, no abuse happens in it. This is very stereotypical. Child abuse can happen in a family, whether they look like a “perfect” family or not. A perfect family is typically looked at a lot differently than a “bad” family. People associate poor, non-wealthy neighborhoods with crime and child abuse. Well, unfortunately, Child abuse is all over the country and not just in poor neighborhoods and families. It is not only based on a particular race, cultural, or economic group.
Many families hide what is really going on and try to appear as normal as possible. Embarrassment, shame, and pity are very fearful and are commonly used. Many mistake child abuse as only kidnapping and strangers. In reality, anyone can be a child abuser: Strangers, family, caregivers, family friends, babysitters, etc. Abusers are commonly thought of as having been abused during their childhood as well. Which can potentially influence them to become abusers when they have children. However, there are many adult survivors that want to change and stand for what has happened to them by using a child who is being abused by protecting them.
They know what it is like to have gone through the abuse at such a young age and they sympathize with them. They are usually motivated to help them and typically go into a career path doing so, whether it’s teaching, therapist, doctors, etc. There is not one single age, race, or gender that associates abuse. “The victimization rate for girls was 9.7 per 1,000 girls younger than age 18, and the rate for boys was 8.7 per 1,000 boys younger than age 18.”
According to the same source, “In 2010, most victims of child maltreatment were white (44.8%), followed by black (21.9%) and Hispanic (21.4%). Children of multiple races (3.5%), American Indian/Alaska Natives (1.1%), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (1.1%) accounted for a substantially smaller proportion of victims” (“Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report”). This shows that child abuse is never targeted, sexist, or consistent, it is completely random and can happen to anyone.
Child abuse is a continuing problem and is impossible to stop throughout all of the countries. Child abuse comes in many forms; physical maltreatment, sexual molestation, or mental abuse. Physical child abuse is a form of non-accidental trauma caused by the perpetrator. Some traumas include, “punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning or otherwise harming a child” (“Child Physical Abuse”).
This type of maltreatment is the most noticeable form, unlike children being sexually abused. Sexual child abuse may not be as detectable as physical child abuse. When a child is being abused sexually, it is when the abuser touches the children in their private places. Children look up to their adult figures to be trustworthy and role models; this is why kids usually end up following through with the abuse. Another form of child abuse that isn’t easily detectable to emotional child abuse.
“Child emotional/psychological abuse is defined as behaviors, speech, and actions of parents or other caregivers that have a negative mental impact on children” (“Child Emotional/Psychological Abuse”). You never know what is being said behind closed doors. Child abuse is not just about the broken bones, bruises, cuts, or the physical appearance that is made. Being emotionally abused and neglected is just as dangerous and harmful. It scars the children, but in an abstract way instead of a concrete way. “The U.S. has one of the worst records among industrialized nations, losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect”(“Child Abuse, Domestic Violence Month noted”).
Emotional abuse is very deep and may affect a child more in the long run, maybe becoming depressed, anti-social, or losing trust in everyone. Mentally and emotionally abused children take a lot of time and help to recover, depending on the degree of abuse they’ve gone through and who that person is individual. “More than three million reports of child abuse are made in the United States that involve over six million children a year. Nearly 70% of children who die from the abuse are four years or younger. More than 90% of juvenile sexual victims know their perpetrator in some way”(“Child Abuse Statistics”).
Children who experience child abuse and neglect are more likely to become violent and interact with criminal activities. Child abuse happens because people often tend to believe that abuse is only physically leaving marks, scars, or “proof” of physical abuse left behind. People are less likely to intervene in more subtle child abuse cases because no physical mark is left. Often more than not, people classify abusers as bad people. Therefore “only bad people abuse their children”, but that is not always the case. Some abusers are not intentionally harming their children. Some abusers sometimes may think that what they are doing right, because that is the way they were taught, raised how to be and act properly.
That is all they know about parenting because that I what happened to them. Some may just have some mental issues, causing problems for them to be coherent, and initiating a lack of knowledge for parenting. Substance using people can be a problem of causing each form of child abuse. People are taught how to be parents, how to raise a child, and how like a role model for them. Everyone was taught, raised, and have learned differently.
Learning how to take care of a child and provide for one is more tedious than learning how to do household chores such as cleaning the dishes. Child abuse investigations, each year are reported to the Child Abuse Central Index, also known as CACl. These reports are submitted by county welfare and probation departments. The CACI created by the Legislature in 1965. This was to protect the health and safety of children, mainly for California.
Child abuse has many causes including, as a childhood symptom of mental illness in parents, as the culmination of a lifelong experience of violation towards the caregiver, of environmental and social stresses on the family, and society’s acceptance and promotion of physical violence. In order to select which factors to study, researchers must exclude other factors.
Clinicians, facing a variety of distinctive life events, personal characteristics, and unique circumstances of the families and children they serve, not always content with the explanations of the origin or child abuse found in the research literature. Child abuse and child neglect involve a variety of childhood injuries that are believed to be derived from parental acts of omission or commission. Although the prevalence of child abuse is unknown, the concern regarding the consequences of abuse is, for individual and for our society, is universal.
In America, child abuse is growing at epidemic proportions and has increased at a rate of 114.3% from 1.4 million cases in 1986 to 3 million cases in 1997 (Califano). Although society is aware of this tragic problem, little has been done to remedy the situation. In fact, American males spend more money on cosmetic improvements such as hairpieces, make-up, and surgery than is currently being spent on programs for battered and neglected children (Califano). The time has come to put an end to this horrifying plague attacking America s youth.
Child abuse can be categorized into four different areas: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and neglect. Victims of physical abuse suffer injuries that range in seriousness from bruises to broken bones, all a result of this heinous crime. Emotional abuse is perhaps the most difficult to detect yet often causes the most disabling and lasting injury making the child feel unloved, unworthy, and often enraged (Morales).
Sexual abuse may be inflicted upon children of all ages as they are forced to participate in unwanted sexual activity. Neglected children are those who are abandoned or left alone for long periods of time or those who do not receive adequate levels of medical care and nourishment (Morales). Each year in the United States, 1,500,000 children are moderate to seriously abused (Morales). These hideous acts are terrifying experiences resulting in more deaths than all car wrecks, fires, or accidental injuries combined (Simmons).
In four out of five cases of child abuse, the abuser is the child s own parent (Edmonds). Many of these instances are the result of parents who were abused themselves growing up or parents with low self-esteem and poor parenting skills (Faull). Poverty is the leading factor in determining the families in which abuse occurs. Another contributor to this situation is drug and alcohol use, which undermines adults’ ability to function in many areas (Morales). Children of drug abusers are more likely to be abuse victims than those with parents who do not use illegal substances.
The U.S. General Accounting Office recently concluded a study confirming that drugs and alcohol were a factor in more than three-quarters of all foster care replacements (Alexander). Despite popular belief, not all of these perpetrators are males. The mother, who faces the daily responsibility of caring for her offspring, is more often guilty of neglect than the father. However, nearly all cases of sexual abuse are committed by the father (Morales). Other contributing factors, which create a less than ideal situation in the home, are poor lifestyle choices and lack of education (Simmons).
The victims of child abuse usually end up as abusers themselves or in need of psychiatric care. There are many characteristics of abused children, which can aid in determining if such a case has occurred. A child who fears adults uses profane language, frequently is tardy or truant at school, or often avoids or runs away from home could be one who is continually mistreated (Faull). Such an individual can do much harm to himself, to others, or to the environment.
For example, those adolescents who set fires, sexually abuse others, torture animals, or attempt suicide are often victims of child abuse (Alexander). In 1996, studies done by child protective service agencies concluded that one million children were identified as victims of either substantiated or indicated abuse or neglect, an estimated 18% increase from those reported in 1990 (Hwang). These ill-treated youth can often be recognized by the acts they commit against society, directed toward other individuals or their surroundings.
The effects of child abuse can be devastating, both to the victim and to the many others associated with his life. If detected early, the results won’t be nearly as harsh or long-lasting. Often called the silent epidemic, child abuse, and neglect cases have been determined to be more numerous and severe than are currently being conveyed (Stevens). In fact, a Gallup Poll stated that instances of physical abuse were 16 times greater than the rates reported, and those of sexual abuse were 10 times greater (Stevens). Many who have been mistreated turn to crime, substance abuse, prostitution, or may run away (White/Quanto).
Ninety percent of males imprisoned for felonies were abused as children, as were seventy percent of teenage drug abusers and ninety-five percent of teen-age prostitutes (Simmons). According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, victims of abuse or neglect are forty percent more likely to be arrested as juvenile delinquents and adult criminals, and three times as likely to steal, as a result of drug and alcohol use (Stevens). The sufferers of this maltreatment, who may be described as time bombs waiting to happen, experience many consequences that are extremely overwhelming and life-threatening (Alexander).
Though child abuse may seem difficult to overcome, there are many remedies that can minimize the harmful effects. The present system currently being used, which includes the Child Abuse Reporting Law, the watchful eye of the community over families who are abusing their young, and the removal of children from abusive households, has proven to be limited and often ineffective in fighting child abuse (Morales).
Along with the advances in our technology has come to a statewide computerized tracking system for substantiated child abuse and neglect cases and hotlines that mistreated children can call for emotional support and advice (White/Quanto). Placement in foster homes, family preservation programs, and home visitation have helped improve the environment of these disadvantaged youth and kept the problem from escalating too rapidly (Edmonds).
President Clinton determined that the process of punishing the abusers should be changed to put more perpetrators in prison rather than into treatment, which does relatively little to help the children (Califano). Additionally, community organizations must create family centers to be a resource for parents of children of all ages. These centers would provide a variety of programs such as information on parenting, babysitting services, and support groups, all of which will lay a foundation for the prevention of child abuse (Morales).
Out of every one hundred children in the United States alone, 2.3 will be abused. If this problem continues to grow at this incredible rate, soon one out of every ten babies will be abused before they reach adulthood (Morales). The victims are not only the children themselves, but society as a whole. America has to put an end to this horrible mistreatment of our future generation.
Child Abuse is defined as “endangerment to a child inflicted by another person, usually the caregiver” and includes physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and neglect. Child abuse can be brought on by anyone at any time. The purpose of this paper is to overview the four previously stated types of abuse, their effects on children, the legal aspects of child abuse, and dealing with abuse.
Child abuse is prevalent in almost every culture across the world and has been a problem for as long as there was recorded history. “People used to abuse their children with razor straps and no one thought anything of it.” It is only recently that citizens became aware of what a problem abuse could be.
Physical abuse can be classified as any attempt or harm to a child where the caregiver was conscious of the risk before the fact. “Physical abuse refers to a non-accidental injury to a child.” Physical abuse is extremely dangerous to the child and can cause permanent physical and mental disabilities.“In cases where maltreatment was substantiated? 26 percent” of victims suffered from physical abuse nationwide. In the Gallup Monthly Poll of 1000 randomly selected American parents, “Over half of the parents said they administered minor physical punishment during the past year, while 22 percent said they use severe physical punishment.”
This physical punishment does not work as effectively as other types of punishment and strictly speaking, is illegal. “It is much better to choose a punishment that will fit the action, for example, if a child has a fight over the TV, take away TV privileges. Corporal punishment is usually administered when the parent is being brash and hasn’t had time to cool down from the child’s misbehavior.”
Sexual abuse “refers to any sexual behavior between a child and an adult or an older, bigger, or more powerful person, for that person’s sexual gratification.” (2) Sexual abuse while still completely horrible is oftentimes blown completely out of scale and is “the most advertised type of abuse”(1 Leiter). “Sex abuse ranges from unwanted kisses to inappropriate touching to sexual intercourse.”(4 pg. 107)
Only 14 percent of cases where maltreatment was substantiated did victims suffer from sexual abuse in the United States. (3 Mayo Clinic) Sexual abuse is oftentimes kept hidden more than other types of abuse. Children are forced and threatened not to tell anyone of the encounters because of the social humiliation of being involved in sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is the only type of abuse that occurs equally across socio-economic barriers.
“Emotional abuse refers to a chronic attitude or behavior directed at a child, or the creation of an emotional environment, which is seriously detrimental to or impairs the child’s psychological and/or physical development.”(2) This type of abusive behavior can bring down an individual’s feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. “It leaves victims feeling inadequate helpless or worthless”(4 health book)
The result of emotional abuse is often that the child will either “run away or withdraw socially” (1Leiter) Emotional abuse is the least common type of abuse that was substantiated by Mayo Clinic with only 5 percent of cases of maltreatment. The Gallup Poll Monthly recorded that “Nine out of ten parents said that they shouted at their children”.
Neglect is often thought of as the most dangerous type of abuse. “Neglect refers to any serious omission or commission by a person which jeopardizes or impairs the child’s psychological, intellectual, or physical development”(2) Neglect includes anything from leaving children alone for long periods of time to not giving them the correct health care to not giving the child enough to eat. Fifty-three percent of victims of maltreatment that were substantiated suffered from neglect.
“Moreover neglect often requires difficult-to-accumulate evidence of a pattern of failure in caregiving before being substantiated, whereas physical or sexual abuse may require only one trip to the hospital” (5 Social Work Research pg. 68) “Neglect is directly related to poverty “. This is because poverty is a stressor due to the fact that those in poverty must work much harder to get basic commodities so caregivers can not always spend time with their children.
Legal Aspects of Child Abuse:
It is illegal to abuse any child physically, emotionally, sexually, or through neglect. This law was put in place to prevent people from being child abusers. It is also illegal for a person not to report if they suspect child abuse. “Any person who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused or neglected must report that to the Director of Social Services in the county where the child resides or is found.
The report may be made orally by telephone, or in writing, and shall include the name and address of the child; the nature or extent of any injury or condition resulting from abuse or neglect; and any other relevant information.”(6 Attorney General’s webpage) reads the North Carolina Statute Section 7A-543 titled ‘DUTY TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT.’ This law overrules even physician-patient privileges.
Effect of Abuse on children:
Abusing children directly affects their performance in school. According to a study published in Social Work Research students who are abused consistently do worse on “CAT standardized tests, grade point averages, the proportion who dropped out when eligible, mean annual absences, the proportion of possible behavior problems and retentions, and proportion with delinquency complaints”(5 Social Work Research pg. 75)
Dealing with Abuse:
When dealing with any type of Abuse one should immediately seek help at one of the many abuse prevention centers across the nation. Daniel D. Broughton, MD, says “Intervention aims to stabilize the family and improve its functioning, to teach parenting and coping skills, to retain an intact family with appropriate services and a good follow-up, families often improve greatly.”(3 Mayo Clinic) Child abuse is a dangerous disease that can destroy families and communities if it is not stopped.
Example #5 – Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse
Children are abused in this country every day. Studies into what constitutes abuse and the effects, both long term and short term are ongoing and have been ongoing for many years. There are real problems both in defining abuse, as well as the potential strategies and implementations that should be in place to reduce the ongoing instances of child abuse. The abuse could be physical, emotional, or sexual.
With the current barriers in defining child abuse and reporting it, as well as the privacy issues associated with investigating and stopping abuse, we are not getting very far in reducing this epidemic that is plaguing our country. More research and actions must be taken to protect the children. By turning our heads, nothing is going to change.
Introduction. Child abuse is an ongoing epidemic in the United States and has been for many years. Annually, hundreds of thousands of children are victims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, there are still many children that suffer silently, and the cases go unreported. New laws are being passed regularly to attempt to address the ongoing child abuse, however, there are still many questions as to what constitutes child abuse, what the punishments should be for the abuse, how intrusive the law and individuals may be in investigations, how to report suspected abuse, and how to stop the cycles that may or may not be passed down through generations. This paper will discuss the facts, figures, and arguments related to child abuse.
Defining Child Abuse. There has been much controversy and speculation as to what constitutes child abuse throughout the years. Depending on what culture and religion as well as background an individual belongs to, their definition will in most cases be much different from an individual in another area, culture, or religion. Punishments for unacceptable behaviors have socially been ever-changing.
Although it may have been socially acceptable to spank a child twenty years ago, it is not necessarily socially acceptable now. Many parents continue to spank their child, and believe this does not constitute abuse. Some families believe that their child should be able to stay home alone or be left in a vehicle unattended and that this does not constitute abuse. Others may disagree and may believe that children should not be left alone in a vehicle or otherwise until they are teenagers.
While many individuals cannot and do not agree on the right age to leave a child unattended, or which forms of discipline are acceptable and which constitute abuse, there is a large consensus that sexually assaulting or inflicting great injury do stipulate child abuse. If an individual is seen beating up a child or molesting the child, they should report the child abuse because it is not only morally and ethically wrong, but it is also against the law.
The views as to what does and does not constitute child abuse have been continually changing, and will most likely continue to do so. Another example of this is the working conditions and terms of employing minors. Not long ago, children were expected to work long hours and them doing so was not socially frowned upon. This is now, considered by many to be child abuse as well.
Child abuse cannot be easily defined. Although it is unacceptable by most if not all of society, the actual definition and stipulations of what does and does not constitute child abuse are undefined and a general consensus does not exist. Privacy matters have made identification and reporting of potential child abuse difficult as well. The study of child abuse began in the ’60s and has continued thus far.
Another obstacle to identifying and defining child abuse comes with the debate of whether the abuse must be physical. Emotional abuse has been studied as well. The consequences or punishments are still being defined for many aspects of child abuse. Little information is available as to what officially constitutes emotional abuse in comparison to physical and sexual abuse of children.
Reporting Child Abuse. Various community, City, State, and Federal organizations have resources for reporting suspected child abuse. Unless a child reports the abuse themselves, or others in a community or neighborhood report abuse, there are not many ways of readily identifying it. Doctors, teachers, counselors, and family members may suspect abuse, but there may be reluctance in reporting it. The reluctance may stem from not actually seeing the abuse first hand, a child who denies any abuse occurred, or the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes or does not constitute abuse.
They may also believe that nothing will be done about the abuse. There are numerous stories that appear on the news of children who were suspected of being victims of child abuse in which the situations and suspicions were reported and nothing was ever done. These stories unfortunately usually end in the child dying from the abuse or continuing the cycle of abuse with their children and grandchildren.
There are also individuals who may believe that matters will be much worse if they report the abuse, with the child potentially getting taken away from the home and placed in far worse situations. The statistics show that there are hundreds of thousands of children that are abused annually in the United States, but this number cannot be accurate with all the situations that continue to go unreported. With many of the cases in which children were placed in equal or greater abusive homes after taken from their families, agencies often complain that they are underfunded and understaffed.
Agencies are not able to fully investigate alleged abuse or are not able to fully assess situations if they do not have enough resources, funding, and staff. This only adds to the already ongoing problems and turmoil that the children are facing. Welfare agencies are continuously complaining that they do not have sufficient resources, funding, and staff to do all that they are tasked to do. The children are ultimately the ones that are suffering the most.
The Cycle. Statistically, individuals that are of lower-income tend to be more closely associated with more frequent child abuse situations. (Eckenrode, Smith, McCarthy, & Dineen. 2014). With less income, comes fewer opportunity to provide adequate care and housing for children. If a single mother is raising three small children on her own, she cannot adequately pay for good child care services to work a full-time job and provide healthy meals, and a safe clean home to live in.
Child care is expensive, as is adequate housing in safe neighborhoods, and food to put on the table. Often times, a mother must choose between working or taking care of her children. If she works, there is nobody to watch her children, which may result in neglect and endangerment charges which constitute abuse. If she stays home, she must live off of help from agencies that do not have enough funding to provide enough money for good housing and enough money to feed her family.
The stress of trying to figure out priorities and how to provide a family’s next meal also raises the tension, and parents may lash out and physically abuse the children as well. There are no excuses for child abuse, but there are underlying sources that could be alleviated thus reducing occurrences (Dierkhising, Ko,, Woods-Jaeger, Briggs, Lee, & Pynoos. 2013).
Strategies. Not only does the community need to be better educated to become aware of what is child abuse and its prevalence in our society, but they also need to be equipped to identify and combat it. Investment in agencies that directly address the welfare of children must be addressed. Rather than turning our backs on the children in our own country that are being abused daily, more information and resources must become available.
The correlation among victims of abuse as children and delinquency in teenage and adult years is very real. If more resources and programs become available, we will not only be saving the children but saving future children and reducing the prison populations in later years as well. (Selph, Bougatsos, Blazina, & Nelson. 2013). The government and the citizens must take a stand to invest in combating this very real problem.
Imagine yourself a little girl, your mom just got remarried, and you’re trying to adjust to a new stepfather, house, and sharing your mom. Your mom leaves to go to the store and leaves you home alone for the first time with HIM. You accidentally break a glass and he goes off the wall yelling at you, calling you worthless. Then, he starts to hit you. While you trying to shield yourself, your mom comes in. Later you tell her what happened and she just tells you that you need to learn to respect your stepfather more.
This is the first of the many incidents that happened to my friend Jessi. Growing up I saw Jessi being abused and was always too afraid and confused to do something about it. I didn’t even know what abuse technically was. In my research, I learned that child abuse is the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of a child by an adult. Jessi isn’t alone; “since 1988 the child abuse victims have steadily increased to about 1,000,000 reported abused victims a year. ”
I’ve always thought that an abused child is just a kid whose parents hit them but, while researching I learned that there are 3 different types of abuse: physical, sexual, and emotional. Physical Abuse is the most know form of abuse it basically involves hitting, kicking the child with fist or feet, or other objects such as belts, baseball bats, and other assorted objects. Another form of abuse is holding a child’s head under scalding water or sticking the child in a washing machine.
A child psychiatrist told me that nobody knows precisely how many children are abused a year because for every child abuse incident that is reported 100 go unreported. The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse states in its annual survey of all 50 states estimates that “1,125 children died from physical abuse in 1988, and this is the lowest estimate possible.” Usually, if a child is seriously hurt because of physical abuse, he is not taken to the hospital by the person who injured him. 90 percent of the time another person who knows of the abuse but, does not do anything to stop it.
This person is called a facilitator. Personally, I was a facilitator I knew about the abuse my friend was going through and did nothing about it. I still have really guilty feelings about it. In many cases a child will look physically abused but, they will actually be victims of sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse is the touching of genitalia or anything, which is uncomfortable for a normal person to person contact. It can also be described as being forced to do sexual acts with an adult.
There are many categories of sexual abuse such as; pedophilia, incest, molestation, statutory rape, and child pornography. In one of my interviews, I was told that “approximately 3 hundred thousand children are involved in child prostitution and child pornography.” In many cases of sexual abuse is used to full fill a sexual fantasy. Again, like physical abuse sexual abuse is increasing steadily, most likely because the sex drive of society has raised.
I remember when I would be at Jessi’s house when I was little. Her stepdad would tell us we were ugly or stupid. I always thought he was just kidding but, it always hurt Jessi. I didn’t think stuff like that was actually abused. During my research, I learned that it was the most common form of abuse, mental abuse. Most people don’t even realize they are doing harm to their child by it, but anything a parent constantly says that puts a child’s self-esteem down is mental abuse.
“Physical and sexual abuse are like roadblocks of life. They are here for a while but eventually, you can get over it, mental abuse, on the other hand, makes you think things that aren’t necessarily true. ” Take my friend Jessi for example, her stepfather used to always call her ugly, now at 15, she believes it. There is another form of abuse that is categorized in the mental section. It is called neglect. Personally, I think this is the saddest form of abuse. Neglect is when a parent unlawfully holds back the basic needs of a child when they can afford it.
The basic need of a child includes food shelter and clothing. “In 1966 the American Humane Association stated that 63 percent of 2,000,000 child abuse cases were reported because of neglect. ” I‘ve always wondered why a parent would just go off and abuse their child. Your child is supposed to be your life, you’re supposed to love them. I always knew a reason for abuse was alcoholism but, I never knew that it could be a psychological problem. “43 percent of people who were abused when they were children ”
It’s the way they were brought up it’s the way they know to react to things like that. It’s like when I’m babysitting and the kids are doing something that they know is wrong like drawing on the walls and I say “how many times have I told you not to draw on the walls?” And I stop and think whoa I just sounded just like my mom. It’s scary. People always repeat things that their parents said like 20 years ago.
Child abuse is the same way. They don’t know any other way to react. Alcoholism causes abuse because some people get violent or disoriented and don’t realize what’s happening. Another reason for abuse is problems at home. Whether it’s family problems, stress, or if the child has mental problems or other problems that make it difficult to raise a child. Raising a child can be hard enough but, when your child has difficult problems it can raise the stress in your life by 50 percent.
Which for some violent people, causes abuse. Other problems such as; marriage problems, or maybe a sick relative that you have to take care of also can raise the stress level, but, it still doesn’t give anyone the right to hit a child. I interviewed a man who used to beat his child. He asked to remain anonymous. He said that, when he used to abuse his daughter, he would get so angry his mind would closeout and it would be like he snapped. He didn’t realize he was doing it till he was finished and his daughter was lying there all bruised and bleeding.
He would apologize, but he knew that would never ever make up for what he did. Finally, he decided to get help. He went to a psychologist where she would help him learn to deal with his anger instead of taking it out on his daughter. If he got mad since he had an unusually bad temper he would count to 50 (instead of 10 like normal people) or he’d go on a long walk. He had a punching bag in his exercise room so if he felt the need to hit something he would go hit that instead.
I completely agree that abusive parents need counseling but, I believe that the child needs it more. The depression that a child can fall into can be there for a lifetime. Children are young and things affect them easily. Children who are abused experience some symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In children and adolescents may be acute or delayed, that is they may experience symptoms that immediately or after a long time has passed.
The symptoms can be re-experienced in their head, called flashbacks. Children may be “spaced out” when reminded of the perpetrator, or maybe they will be really withdrawn when he is near. They might do role-playing to try to act out their issues by doing things like punishing the bad guy while playing with dolls or action figures, to make the “yucky feelings go away.” When children go to the psychiatrist the first thing he does is listens to the child, so they can sometimes for the first time get the story out and just talk about it.
Then, she helps him realize it’s their fault. They didn’t do anything to cause this abuse. A lot of the time the children blame themselves and they think that there is something they could have done to avoid it. Also 74% of children that go to see the psychiatrist are depressed. I don’t think children should ever be in a situation where they’re depressed. They’re still young and shouldn’t have any worries. They have the rest of their life to worry about stuff.
The psychiatrist helps them look on the happy side of things and usually introduce them to another child who has been through the same thing, so they can at least have a friend to confide in Jessi said that she didn’t want to go to therapy at all. But, that’s what actually helped her get her head on straight and make her and her family get back to a normal functioning family. Now, Jessi isn’t deathly afraid when her stepfather walks in the room. She still has resentments against him but, at least he doesn’t hit her. And, they get along great. But, not all child abuse incidents happen in a happy ending. In fact, Jessi’s situation is probably one in a million.
Most child abuse incidents end in a tragedy. Twenty years ago child abuse was legal. If a child was beaten people thought the child did something really bad and it was just a form of discipline. But now, with violence increasing the need for laws is more and more needed. In the past 15 years, child abuse laws have been created. Now if you’re suspected of abuse you will be questioned, your child would be checked for signs. If you admit and or proved guilty you can get at least a couple of years of jail and your child can be taken away from you and put into foster care or live with another relative.
I read a story about a father who abused all three of his children. One was 4, one was 10, and the other was 17. The mother died when the baby was born and he was dealing with the stress of losing her and raising 3 children all by himself. He was an alcoholic, a workaholic, and in my opinion a very mean man. He abused all of his children physically, and mentally for almost 4 years. Finally, he was reported to Child Services. He was sent to jail for 10 years and his children practically disowned him. when he got out he tried to contact his children.
But, they would have nothing to do with him. He killed himself 1 year later. Isn’t that sad? School-Age children that are abused physically, mentally, and sexually tend to get poorer grades and are more aggressive with other children their own age. Often Abused teenagers turn to drugs or anything else that they think helps them feel better. “54% of abused children end up in a detention home or in jail ” The possibilities are endless of what could happen. I believe that children are the most important key to the future. If we teach them that abuse is right.
Then, slowly that’s what this world is going to come to. Everyone is just going to be hitting each other for no reason. Children don’t deserve to be hit, raped, beat, or have anything done to them for no reason. One they can’t defend themselves, and two. It will teach them to be awful violent people of the future. So I believe t that if we play good role models for our children then, together we all need to work together and maybe, our children can have a peaceful future.
Example #7 – Sexual Abuse of Children: Current Solutions
Child sexual abuse is a major problem occurring in the world; it needs to stop. Around the world, child maltreatment is caused by many factors, and the victims aren’t able to defend themself. Nothing is being done about sexually abusing children. Yes, in most cases the abuser does go to jail, but that’s it. More needs to be done. Every day children die from child abuse.
Overview Sexual assault is defined as forcing an unconsenting person to engage in any form of sexual activity. Sexual abuse is a result of many cases of sexual assault. Some causes of this abuse are that the abusers were often abused as children themselves, i.e. physically, sexually, or emotionally, and most victims are abused by a family member, guardian, older children, or a caretaker because of better access to a relationship to the child.
More than 772,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse in 2009 (Backstrom, 2011, n.p.) Sexual abuse of children with disabilities or mental retardation, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse in the family, depression, or mental health conditions in parents, and young, single nonbiological parents are more likely to be abused (Child abuse). Most studies show children with disabilities have a higher percentage of getting abused rather than non-disabled children. Risk factors of sexual abuse are family structure. Many abusers say they look for the quiet, troubled, lonely children who come from broken homes.
They sometimes seek children who are trusting and work to build a trusting relationship with the child before abusing them. Gender, age, and ethnicity are also big factors. Females are 5 times more likely to be sexually abused than males. Children between the ages of 7 to 13 are more vulnerable to be abuse. The average age for a child to be abused is 9 years old. African American children’s rate of being sexually abused is two times higher than white children. (Cachouston, 2016, n.p.).
Living with the knowledge that they were sexually abused, many people blame themselves. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before they reach 18. One in three of sexual assault is under 12. Four percent of adult victims are male. Eight percent of victims 12-17 are male (Backstrom, 2011, n.p).
Children who are sexually abused suffer from guilt, humiliation, shame, and confusion. They sometimes believe they are at fault. These feelings often lead to long-term repression of these traumatic events (Backstrom, 2011, n.p.). Attending support groups or therapy can help the victims talk about their struggles with living with sexual abuse. If you suspect your child has been abused, get help immediately through your pediatrician or a local child protective agency.
The doctor also may testify in court if necessary to obtain legal protection for the child or criminal prosecution. Penalties for a sexual abuser can be up to 10 years of jail or prison time. If your child has been abused, you may be the only person who can help him. There is no good reason to delay reporting your suspicions of abuse. Some reasons why victims put off reporting the abuse is that the child is afraid to speak up about it. Denying the problem will only make the situation worse, allowing the abuse to continue (What to know about child abuse).
Proposal Victims of sexual abuse may not be aware of rehabilitation programs they can attend to seek the help they need, or the programs are not in a convenient location for them. Children who are abused suffer greater emotional than physical damage (What to know about child abuse), resulting in them possibly needing professional help. More rehabilitation facility programs should be more well-known and public for victims of sexual abuse.
Advertising-these programs can help people know more about them to get help the victims need to recover. Conclusion Too many children in the world are getting sexually abused by people they trust the most. Sexual abuse cause many people to be traumatized for the rest of their life. This can cause the victims to go too deep states of depression, rage, and humiliation that they couldn’t do anything about it. Sexually abusing child-or anybody for that matter is a growing problem that needs to stop.
The chosen theme that will be discussed from the book ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’ will be child abuse, and how this relates to social work. Child abuse can be a dominant subject in which social workers encounter when working with vulnerable children and families. According to NSPCC (2018), there are different structures of abuse ranging from physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect which can all cause serious harm to a child, and cause implications for the child.
In the book, Eleanor plays the role of a woman that has suffered childhood trauma, which they had seen to impact her later in life. Gilbert et al (2008) suggest that any form of abuse to children has an impact on the mental well-being of them in adulthood, and more risk to alcohol and substance misuse, especially in girls.
The main legislation that implements the legal framework for social work practice is The Children’s Act 1989 Brammer (2015). One of the main concepts of The Children’s Act 1989, is “The welfare of the child is paramount”, in deciding the outcomes of the child. It created the concept for parental responsibilities and one of the principles of this act was that it was seen in the child’s best interest to stay living with the parents and be supported in coping with the upbringing of their child; ensuring all the needs were being met.
The aspect of this act was to focus on section 17 child in need or section 47 child in need of protection. When there is a concern regarding a child’s safety, social services will carry out an assessment and then decide if further action needs to be taken. On deciding the outcome, social services may take no further action, arrange a child protection conference, apply to the court for more rights in safeguarding the child, temporary removal from the parents to other family members, or even apply to take full custody of the child into the care of social services Citizens Advice (2018).
Sadly it takes for cases in social work that has failed that altered the law for children, from “Dennis O’Neill in 1945; Maria Colwell in 1973; Jasmine Beckford in 1984; and Victoria Climbie in 2000”. Looking at the statistics from Ofsted (2017) their findings were that there has been a 23% increase in child deaths from last year to the year previous that have been reported from local authorities.
In conclusion, child abuse is closely linked to the area of work that social workers encounter, in many forms. The law plays a very important role in ensuring that children are protected from any form of harm and, also that services are there to prevent further harm to the child.
Judith is a battered 12-year-old who blames herself rather than her mother for her mother’s constant and increasing physical abuse. Michael, one of her classmates, recently suffered from the emotional abuse of his severely critical father. Judith misses school often and keeps to herself. Oddly, she wears a turtleneck even on warm days and frequently has an excuse for getting out of the gym. Yet, the mysterious girl reminds schoolmate Michael of a friend who had helped him break out of his shell of loneliness and inadequacy.
As Michael befriends Judith and gradually chips away at her secrets, he finds a girl emotionally and physically bruised, and only when it’s almost too late does he realize that Judith’s mother is to blame. Set in Holland, Bruises is a wrenching portrait of a family in crisis. Although I was impatient for the adults in Judith’s world to pick up on what is going on at home and act more decisively to help her, their hesitation and dim realization of her suffering are, perhaps, what is most realistic of all.
Estimates of abuse range wildly depending on the source of one’s information. From one to two million children per year are victims of child abuse. All sources agree on the simple truth that not nearly all cases of child abuse are reported or even estimated. Many cases go unreported, less than 50% by current estimates. The amount of child abuse is staggering to think about, let alone deal with.
By the age of eighteen one in three girls will have been sexually molested and one in six boys will have been molested in that same time frame. Although, throughout this paper, we shall discuss not only the effects of sexual abuse but abuse in all its forms.
It is clear that families are undergoing a number of important structural changes: families are smaller than in the past, with fewer children and sometimes with only one parent; parents have children at a later age; more couples live together without the bonds of matrimony which was accepted as a sacred bond so few years in human history.
Physical abuse has many forms. It may involve the hitting or kicking of a child with the fists or the feet or with another object; such as belts, shovels, changes, ropes, electric cords, leather straps, canes, baseball bats, sticks, broom handles, or assorted large objects. Other forms of abuse include the pouring of scalding water or coffee on a child’s body, holding a child’s head under the water of a toilet bowl, stuffed into running washing machines, throwing a child against a wall, shaking a child with extreme force or placing parts of a child’s anatomy on hot or burning objects to cause pain.
Some experts say the For every reported case of physical abuse over 100 are not reported. Nobody knows precisely how many children die each year from physical abuse at the hands of adults. The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse in its annual survey of all 50 states estimates the 1,125 children died from abuse in 1988, a figure that, according to the Committee’s report “most likely represents the lowest estimate of the problem.”
What is known is that reports of child fatalities resulting from abuse are steadily increasing. Many times when physical abuse is caused by a parent or guardian, the child is not taken for medical help, even when wounds or injuries are very severe. When they are taken into the hospital it is usually a secondary member of the family, one who may not have caused the abuse but did not stop it either.
This type of person might be called a facilitator. In the past, there was much more discipline in homes and schools than there is today. Kids’ way back was slapped on the wrist with rulers. They didn’t go out and kill each other as many of the kids do today. Many experts think that terrible pressures on today’s family are partly to blame for the excess of abuse in today’s families. Physical abuse is termed sexual abuse when it involves the display or touching of genitalia or anything which is not a comfortable part of a normal person to person contact.
Sexual abuse is described as those activities by an older person for his or her sexual gratification without consideration for the child’s psycho-social sexual development. Also, as contacts or interactions between a child and an individual of higher power when the child is being used for the sexual stimulation of that adult or another. There are many categories of sexual abuse, these include; incest, pedophilia, exhibitionism, molestation, sex (statutory rape), sexual sadism, and child pornography. It is estimated that approximately three hundred thousand children are involved in child prostitution and pornography.
Many times men or women who abuse children were abused when they were young. In this way, abuse is very much a self-fulfilling prophecy or circle problem. Historically, sexual abuse was not as much of a problem as it is in modern times. Incidences of sexual abuse are highest in urbanized technologically advanced societies. In other cultures and times, prostitution was a valid form of employment, and this niche provided an integral outlet for connoisseurs of sex.
Without this vent men with sexual frustration may turn to the less reactive child as sexual prey. Due to the black market prostitution of children, a twelve-year-old boy can earn upwards of a thousand dollars per day selling himself on the streets of Los Angeles. Sexual abuse can have severe consequences on the mental development of children.
Mental Abuse of a child can involve several different activities. These can involve common verbal forms, yelling, neglect, constant insults, etc. They also involve certain forms of mental torture and neglect. Mental abuse is one of the most damaging forms of abuse because unlike rape or other forms of sexual or physical abuse, mental abuse will be with you all of your life. I would offer this analogy to shed light on what I am trying to communicate here. Physical and sexual abuse are like roadblocks in the road of life. They are there for a while, but you get over them eventually.
Mental abuse, on the other hand, catalyzes the disillusion of the view of the street. If someone is always insulting you, always telling you that you are no good: then with time, your mind becomes accustomed to it and begins to believe it. This especially is a damaging consequence for young children and infants, who are as dependent upon mental support as they are for their physiological needs. It is an utter violation of such a relationship. Mental abuse not only affects the child, and the family, but society as a whole. Most people never fully recover from child abuse.
Neglect is the most prevalent form of child maltreatment. A recent study prepared by the American Humane Association states that, nationwide, neglect consistently has accounted for the greatest number of maltreatment reports; in 1988 alone it represented sixty-three percent of the approximately two million cases of reported incidents of the three predominant forms of child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Neglect is the unlawful withholding of a child’s basic needs. Food, Water, Shelter, Clothing; these are all things that a child needs to live an effective life in today’s society.
To deny a child these things is to leave him lower on the ladder of needs than he or she would conceivably be otherwise. Neglect is by far more prominent than any other form of child maltreatment, but, continually it is the least prominent villain in child abuse advertising schemes. Why are people so unwilling to admit this problem? Why do Americans consistently look overseas and across borders when sending their charitable donations?
The problem is here! It is not imagined. Unlike the demons who lurk in the darkness of children’s closets, this villain will not vanish at the flip of a light switch. Many of these children do not have their own closets or lights. In conclusion, I have gone over the most important points and facts about the different types of child abuse and what their affects are on children. I have tried to shed some light on this unspoken about and shunned subject. Child abuse has always been around, and it always will be around as long as other people care more about themselves than about others.
The last hundred years have only brought about changes in the discussion, description, and definition of child abuse. These things have helped do away with child abuse significantly, but the destruction of this most cursed of diseases is not in the sight of those who look to the future. I leave you with this final quote, spoken by a one Mr. Andrew Vachss.
“The effect that child abuse has not just on the victims, but on their subsequent victims and on society as a whole, is, in my judgment, far more devastating than the threat of drugs, of political upheaval, of economic disaster, or of environmental destruction… I really think that child abuse is the most significant threat not just to the quality of life in this country, but to live in this country.”
Child Abuse is something that children all around the world have to deal with every day. Child abuse can cause physical and mental affects on a child. It occurs very frequently and can happen for many different reasons. There is a law now stating that reporting child abuse is mandatory and you should report it immediately. There are thousands of child abuse victims every year. The abuse usually can leave permanent damage on the rest of the child’s life. Child abuse is a very serious crime and affects children every day with positive and negative affects.
Child abuse is a serious crime, that if violated can come with many consequences, and rules. Reporting child abuse is a mandatory law enacted in 1978 (but amended many times) stating that people must report child abuse immediately1. This law was created to identify children that are victims of child abuse. Relating to the law the Department of Human Services has the responsibility to access and investigate suspected child abuse. “Each year Department of Human Services investigators conduct 20,000 investigations involving 30,000 children (in the state of California).
″ There are a lot of cases reported each year, involving innocent children, abused by their parents. Although there are thousands of cases reported each year, thousands go unreported. “Child abuse has serious consequences which may remain as indelible pain throughout the victims lifetime″ Child abuse can have permanent negative affects on the child, permanent affects that the child will never forget. The abuse can also bring a better side to the child, making the child wanting to be more independent. Child abuse is very common and can affect any child of any race, color, or religion.
Child abuse is caused by a parent, for many reasons, and can lead to many kinds of problems for the child. Parents impose child abuse for many reasons such as psychological problems to low self-esteem to alcohol or drug abuse. Child abuse happens for many different reasons but all the reasons are still child abuse and are taken seriously. Child abuse can also occur when parents have too high expectations of their kids which then leads to abuse. “Abusive parents may show disregard for the child’s own needs, limited abilities, and feelings.”
Disregarding children’s needs can include a neglection. Children need parental advice and for parents to fulfill all their needs. “Some parents lack basic information about normal child development and parenting.” All parents need information about parenting and normal child development, in order to become the loving parent that a child needs. Some parents lack information because they too were brought up with abusive parents also. All these reasons are reasons that lead to child abuse and should be taken seriously, and reported immediately.
Child abuse is one of the worst things children have to go through and can impact a child’s life with a negative affect. “Physical abuse is any non-accidental physical injury, suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child.”7 Physical abuse usually ends with a child hurt with bruises and scars. If reported the child can be taken away from the home. “Mental injury is an injury to a child’s intellectual or psychological capacity that is observable to the child’s ability to functions within the child’s normal range of performance.”
Mental injuries can result in problems later in the child’s life and can affect them immensely. If mental injuries are bad enough the child can suffer depression and commit suicide. If child abuse goes unreported the results could be serious and impact the child’s life for the future. Child abuse must always be reported, the later you wait the longer the child has to suffer. If it goes unreported the child could have mental problems and no future ahead of them. There are many types of child abuse, but whether it is physical, or mental they all result in a damaging affect on the child.
Child abuse is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences. It should always be reported in the protection of the child. Child abuse is something that can happen to anyone, and that can leave permanent damage to a child’s life. It happens every day to children of all races, it is a problem that we need to take care of. Results in child abuse depend on the type of child abuse. But almost always the results are damaging toward the child. Child abuse comes in many different types and has many different types of results, it should be taken seriously and always be reported, all child abuse is damaging to the child.
In the book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain child abuse was a very serious part of Huck’s everyday life. Huck’s father, Pap, was jealous of Huck’s education. He felt Huck would become smarted than him. The abuse Huck received affected him both, positively and negatively. Out of the abuse, though, Huck made a decision to become independent and take care of himself. The abuse he received also influenced his decisions and morals of life. Child abuse plays a very influential role in Huck’s life, the abuse he receives from his father affects him both in a positive and negative way.
Being jealous of Huck and his life, Pap tried child abuse as a way for Huck to be punished for being smarter than him. “You think your better’n’ your father now, don’t you, because he cants? I’ll take it out on you.”10 Pap is jealous of Huck’s education because he doesn’t want Huck to be better off than him. Also, Pap is very scared that Huck could become smarter than him and start beating upon him. “Once he locked me in the cabin, and was gone for 3 days. It was a dreadful lonesome.”
Huck had to go through most of his life being lonely and not having a real dad. When a child becomes very lonely and has no one to talk to, not even his dad, it can lead to depression and then maybe suicide. “I won’t have it. I’ll lay for you, my smarty, and if I catch you about that school I’ll tan you good.”12 When a father threatens to beat up his son for going to school it is a definite sign of child abuse. A father needs to boost up his son’s self-esteem instead of threatening to beat him up for trying to learn. The continuing and constant abuse of Huck left a negative affect on him.
The beatings Huck suffered through the majority of his life left him with a negative affect for years to come. With his father, he could smoke and swear all he wanted and his life would have been good if it had not been for the beatings.”The beatings impacted Huck’s life very much, it was the worst part of his life. Pap being a poor influence towards Huck, let him do all the wrong things, but when Huck tried to learn he would just abuse him. “Huck is a homeless boy whose only relative is a disreputable father.” Huck, having no family, led him to have no family values and no one to count on, when he needed help.
He had no father like a role model for him to look up to and respect, and no one to help him with his problems. The beatings that Huck received will stay with him for the rest of his life.15 It will bring him bad memories and haunt him many years to come. If Huck grows up and has a kid, he might abuse him or her and not even realize it, just doing what his father did to him. Even though there were many negative affects, there were also many positive affects.
Having had gone through an abusive childhood it brought a positive affect to Huck, teaching him how to look out for himself and become a better person. “I didn’t want to go to school much before, but I reckoned I’d go now to spite Pap.” The abuse made Huck want to become better educated and a better all-around person. He didn’t want to grow up and become another disrespected Pap Finn. “I was scared. I made up my mind I would fix up some way to leave here.”
Huck couldn’t take it anymore, he decided to become independent and take care of himself. The beatings also made him realize that he needed to take charge of his own life. “If he learned nothing else out of Pap, he learned that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way.”18 Huck learned how to deal with Pap and not let him get to him, and damage his self-esteem. Huck also became mature and learned how to take care of himself. Going through constant abuse is bad but sometimes can have a positive affect on a person.
Pap’s abuse of Huck affects him both mentally and physically. He influenced Huck’s life with many damaging affects. Most of the abuse that Pap gave to Huck left Huck with a negative affect. The constant beatings and verbal abuse made Huck lonely and depressed. Although most of the time abuse leaves negative affects, the abuse did leave some positive affects too. The abusive childhood brought a positive side to Huck’s way of thinking and way of life. Child abuse is a terrible thing to go through but can have both positive and negative affects on a child.
Imagine for a moment that you are not yourself any longer. Visualize instead, that you are a young girl, old enough to know wrong from right, yet still young enough to be terrified of the dark shadows in your room. It is a cool spring night, and your parents opt to attend a party, which you are not allowed at. It will be fine, you’ll hardly even miss us they say to you, unknowing of the terror that is within your heart. Your uncle is coming over to watch you, so be a good girl they continue.
Your parents are pleased with the fact that he offered so readily to take care of you, with the premise of saving them from having to pay a baby sitter. When he finally arrives, your mother kisses you on the cheek and scurries out the door to join your father already waiting in the car outside. This is when your nightmare begins. His slimy hands casually slide an ebony cassette into the VCR, and he starts leering at you with his usual horrible fashion.
You can feel his gaze worming its way through your clothes every time he looks at you. You feel dirty and violated every time you think of what he does to you when you are alone together. He walks over to the couch you are on and sits down right beside you. His hand slithers onto your knee, and you cringe in fear and revulsion. Don t be afraid, you know I won’t hurt you he chides. Your mind feels panicky as you sense his hands moving into more intimate places, and you scream involuntarily.
His grip tightens as he places his hand over your mouth. I think you want to force me to do this the hard way comes his intense whisper. You flail your arms at him in a desperate, yet futile attempt to protect yourself and your body. Your mind realizes there is nothing you can do to stop him from carrying out his brutal plans for you. Your mind detaches from your body as you finally realize his sweaty, massive body is now atop your own, and you feel so powerless.
You start sobbing as you wait for this horrible nightmare to eventually stop. When he is done, you limp helplessly to the laundry room and try fruitlessly to get the bloodstains out of your clothing so your mother doesn’t notice. This was all your fault. This sad and gruesome scenario you have just experienced is only one type of child abuse that occurs millions of times every year across America. Estimates of abuse can range widely depending on the source of one’s information. From one to two million children per year are victims of some form of child abuse (Dolan, pg. 3).
All sources however agree on the simple truth, that not nearly all cases of child abuse are reported each year, or even able to be estimated. Many cases go unreported, less than 50% by current estimates (Dolan, pg. 3). The amount of known and reported child abuse is staggering for most people to think about, let alone dealing with the issue of the unreported cases. By the age of eighteen, nearly one in three girls will have been sexually molested, and one in six boys will have been molested in the same time frame.
In this paper, I will discuss not only the effects of sexual abuse but abuse in all its forms. These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, and neglect. My methods for locating information and formulating this paper have included personal interviews with friends and family members, reading journal articles pertaining to child abuse, and also utilizing resources available on the World Wide Web. In conducting the research for this paper, I was looking to answer the question of whether or not child abuse is a growing trend today, or simply that it is brought to the publics’ attention more now than in the past due to mass media coverage.
We can look at several examples recently involving child abuse and conclude that yes, the media is voracious in its pursuit of sensational stories, but this may be an example of a subject that needs to be in public focus. The media has shown us that child abuse is a global problem and has been valuable in showing that abuse knows no socioeconomic boundaries. Anyone from any walk of life can be an abuser, been abused themselves, or both.
This is especially useful when it is brought to the publics’ attention that not only children who are from lower-income and poverty-stricken homes can be victims. Even children who come from the so-called good families can be abused and even killed. Any child that is a victim of abuse is mostly helpless and in need of any kind of advocate possible. Without the media’s portrayal of abused children and signs to be suspicious of, the grandmother, aunt, family friend, babysitter, etc. may not be able to recognize an abused child in time. In this sense, one can understand the important role the media can play in possibly saving lives.
Even with this coverage today, it is still a sad reality that children die because someone didn’t recognize them as being abused in time. There were no clear results as to whether this coverage brings to light more cases of abuse or if abuse is growing, so I decided to address the next question I will cover in this report, and that is How had child abuse changed over the last hundred years, and what has its effects been on the families involved?
This brings me to my first area of research, and that is the changing family of today. It is clear that families are undergoing a number of important structural changes: families are smaller than in the past, with fewer children and in many cases with only one parent present, parents are having children at later ages than before, and many parents are living together without the bonds of matrimony that were considered so important only a few decades ago. The source of this degradation of the familial unit in society was unknown in the areas I researched for this paper. It is a question only the parents can both answer and solve for themselves.
It is certainly not anything a child could understand, or be capable of helping to answer for their parents. Physical abuse is one of the most well known and recognized forms of abuse today (WWW site). This type of abuse can take many forms. Some of these include hitting the child with fists, kicking with the feet, hitting the child with other objects, such as electrical cords, belts, shovels, canes, sticks, broom handles, baseball bats, and assorted other objects.
Other forms of physical abuse include pouring coffee or other hot liquids on the child s body, holding the child s head in a toilet bowl, stuffing the child into a running washing machine, holding parts of the child s anatomy on a hot surface such as a stove, throwing the child against a wall, and shaking a child with extreme force against a wall or other object. (Author s note: sometimes in cases where the child has been shaken with extreme force such as a violent aggressor possesses, this can cause severe brain damage when the brain is repeatedly crushed against the skull. This is referred to as a shaken baby syndrome.
This type of injury is especially damaging to small babies and children.) Some experts say that for every reported case of physical abuse, over 100 go unreported (Dolan, pg. 7). Nobody really knows precisely how many children die each year from physical abuse and the subsequent injuries involved at the hands of abusing adults. The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse in its annual survey of all 50 states estimates that 1,125 died from abuse in 1988, a figure that, in its latest report most likely represents the lowest estimate of the problem.
What is known, however, is that reports of child fatalities are steadily increasing. Many times when injuries are sustained at the hands of parents or guardians, the child is not taken for medical attention, even when the wounds or injuries are very severe. If and when they are taken to the hospital or clinic, it will usually be a secondary member of the family, one who did not actually cause the injury but did nothing to prevent it either. This type of person is commonly referred to as a facilitator. In the past, there was more emphasis on discipline, both at home and in the schools than there is today.
In one interview I conducted, I asked the following question: What do you consider to be abuse, as opposed to punishment and discipline? The response I received was Beating the child with a stick the size of a telephone pole or forcing the child to eat liver. It s not what I think is abuse, but what the government perceives as abuse. I personally feel it is abused if the child doesn’t learn from it. Kids way back when were slapped on the wrist with rulers in school and it was common to perform discipline with a belt.
They didn’t go out and kill one another or join gangs and deal with drugs as they do now (Cox, personal interview). Most people I spoke with displayed one of two attitudes: No form of corporal punishment was acceptable to them today, or more discipline was strongly needed in today s society. Many experts feel that the terrible pressures families may feel now are partly to blame for the excess of abuse in today s families.
Physical abuse is termed sexual abuse when it involves the display or touching of genitalia or anything that is not considered part of normal person-to-person contact. This brings us to the next point of discussion, that of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is described as those activities by an older person for his or her sexual gratification, without concern for the child s psychological sexual development.
Also, it includes contact or interaction between a child and an individual of higher powers when the child is used for the sexual stimulation of that adult or another. There are many forms of sexual abuse and these include incest, pedophilia, exhibitionism, molestation, statutory rape, and child pornography. It is estimated that approximately three hundred thousand children are involved in child prostitution and pornography. Many times, the men and women who abuse children were abused as children.
In this sense, abuse is very much a self-fulfilling prophecy or a vicious circle. Historically, sexual abuse was not as much of an issue as it is in modern times. Incidences of sexual abuse are highest in urbanized, technologically advanced societies. We hold this to be self-evident because the basic needs of the sexual drive are denied a constructive (or at least less destructive) outlet in modern society. In other cultures and times, prostitution was a valid form of employment, and this niche provided an integral outlet for connoisseurs of sex (i.e. nymphomaniacs and sadists).
Without this vent, men with sexual frustrations may turn to the less reactive child as sexual prey. Due to the black market prostitution of children, a twelve-year-old boy can earn upwards of a thousand dollars per day selling himself on the streets of Los Angeles. Mental abuse suffered by these predators of children often is the cause of their unnatural desires for sex. This brings me to my next point of consideration, that of mental abuse. Mental abuse of a child can involve several different activities. These include the common verbal forms, i.e. yelling, constant insults, etc.
They also include certain forms of mental torture and neglect. Mental abuse is one of the most damaging forms of abuse because unlike rape or other types of sexual and physical abuse, mental abuse lingers for the rest of a person s life. I would like to offer this analogy to shed light on what I am trying to communicate. Physical and sexual abuse is like a roadblock on the road of life. They are there for a while, but it is possible to get over them eventually. Mental abuse, on the other hand, can destroy the way a person perceives his or herself and the world.
If someone were to be constantly insulting you, telling you that you are no good, then with time, your mind becomes accustomed to it and begins to accept it as truth. This form of abuse has potentially the worst effect on young children and babies, who are as dependent upon adults for mental support as they are for their physiological needs. Mental abuse is an utter violation of such trust and dependency. This form of abuse affects not only the child but also society as a whole. In one of my interviews, I received the following response to the question of what do you feel is the greatest misconception about abuse in today s society?
We still don t understand how much real damage it does, not only to the child but to society as a whole. Most people never fully recover from mental abuse. Our society never will recover from mental abuse (Reed, personal interview). This now brings me to my final point of discussion, that of neglect. The statistics on neglect are staggering. A recent study prepared by the American Humane Association states that, nationwide, neglect consistently has accounted for a very large number of maltreatment cases.
In 1996 alone, it represented nearly a third of the two million cases of reported incidents of the three predominant forms of abuse: physical, sexual, and neglect. Neglect is the unlawful withholding of a child s basic needs. Food, water, shelter, and clothing are all things a child needs to live an effective life in the world today. To deny a child these things is leave him or her lower on the ladder of needs than he or she would conceivably be otherwise. While neglect statistics show this is a growing problem, it is the least prominent villain in child abuse awareness campaigns.
Why are people so unwilling to admit to this problem? Unlike the demons that lurk in the back of a child s closet, this is not a problem that will simply disappear with the flick of a light switch. Many of these children only wish that those imaginary demons were the greatest of their concerns. In conclusion, I have gone over the most important points and facts about the different types of child abuse and what their effects are on children. We have tried to shed some light on this unspoken about and shunned subject. The answer to the question, which was posted at the beginning of this paper, is vague at best and unanswerable at worst.
Child abuse has always been around, and it always will be around as long as other people care more about themselves than about others. The golden rule is the ultimate answer, the most dignified quest. The last hundred years have only brought about changes in the discussion, description, and definition of child abuse. These things have helped do away with child abuse significantly, but the eradication of this most cursed of diseases is not in the sight of those who look to the future.
I leave you with this final quote, spoken by a one Mr. Andrew Vachss. The effect that child abuse has not just on the victims, but on their subsequent victims and on society as a whole, is, in my judgment, far more devastating than the threat of drugs, of political upheaval, of economic disaster, or of environmental destruction… I really think that child abuse is the most significant threat not just to the quality of life in this country, but to live in this country.
Many people have noticed that parents are starting to get more frustrated with their lives and are taking it out on their children. Parents start to under think their actions and instead of disciplining their children, they are abusing their children. There are many precautions that should be taken when dealing with situations like these.
Many experiments can be done in order to determine if abuse is taking place in the home. In order to determine child abuse, authorities usually look for bruises or broken bones in bad families but child abuse is determined by factors that are sometimes unknown. States that sexual abuse is known to be the most hidden type of abuse there is. The reason that sexual abuse tends to be hidden is because of the fact that the abused person is ashamed of and guilty of the abuse because they sometimes feel that it was their fault.
The sexual abuse doesn’t necessarily need to contain body contact, verbal sexual abuse also scars individuals. It is important to know that individuals are able to determine when a child is being abused. Children give off many signs for different types of abuse. Emotionally abused children are often anxious and withdrawn. They are distant from their parent or guardian and act like adults or act “inappropriately infantile” which means they suck their thumb, rock, and throw tantrums.
Physically abused children often have bruises, they are often paranoid about something bad to happen. They usually don’t want to touch people and they wear clothing to cover up their injuries. For example, they will wear a long-sleeved shirt when it is extremely hot outside. Children that have been abused sexually have trouble walking or sitting, they show that they know about sexual acts and make those efforts with other people. They usually have STDS or maybe a pregnancy by the age of 14.
Example #13 – Physical Abuse Of Child Abuse
According to the National Child, Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) physical child abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver commits an intentional act that results in physical injury to a child or adolescent, such as red marks, cuts, welts, bruises, muscle sprains, or broken bones. Physical abuse can occur when physical punishment goes too far or a parent acts out in anger.
Even corporal punishment that does not result in physical injury is considered physical abuse and is outlawed in some states. Children of all ages, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds are at risk for physical abuse. Children ages 4–7 and 12–15 are at the greatest risk of being physically abused. Very young children are most susceptible to receiving serious injuries because they are more vulnerable and depend on others to care for them (NCTSN, 2009).
An estimated 1 in 4 children living in the United States experience some form of maltreatment. In 2014, more than 6.6 million children and their families were reported to Child Protective Services for allegations of child maltreatment (Ho, Gross, & Bettencourt, 2017). In most states, the harm must have been inflicted by non-accidental means. This includes intentional acts, actions that were careless (such as, allowing a known sexual offender or known abuser to be with a child alone), and acts of negligence (such as, leaving a child under a certain age at home alone).
Child abuse refers to emotional, bodily, mental, or sexual harassment of a child. Child abuse can be committed through oversight or commission by the child’s parents, caregivers, or guardians. Research by Jaffee and Maikovich-Fong (2011) shows that child abuse can occur in different places, for example at home, school, organizations, or in communities where children live or visit.
Over the years, the four types of child abuse, namely bodily, emotional, sexual, and abandonment have occurred at varying rates in different parts of the world. The Child abuse maltreatment Report of 2010 as presented by Malcolm (2012) declares negligence as the most prevalent form of child abuse across the world. For instance, the rate of child neglect in 2010 in the United States (U.S) was 78.3% (Malcolm, 2012). Physical abuse followed at 17.6% in the same year.
The third type of abuse by prevalence was sexual abuse at 9.2% while the last form of child mistreatment by prevalence was emotional/psychological ill-treatment that stood at 8.1% (Malcolm, 2012). In fact, statistical findings indicate that most people think of negligence whenever they hear of child abuse (Girgira, Tilahun & Bacha, 2014). Although various reasons have been established for the high rate of negligence as a form of child abuse, the leading cause of negligence is poverty (Girgira et al., 2014).
Different types of child abuse are inflicted on children in various ways. For example, bodily abuse takes the form of physical aggression. This aggression may be inflicted by parents, relatives, neighbors, or any other older person. In most cases, bodily abuse happens when the intention of the older person is to harm or inflict pain on a kid. In some instances, child abuse may result in the death of the victim. However, in defense of physical child abuse, most of the aggressors hide under the guise of disciplining children. The prevalence of the physical form of child abuse has spurred a quick move-in enacting laws against child abuse in most countries.
For example, by 2013, over 34 countries of the world had enacted laws against any form of corporal punishment of children (Girgira et al., 2014). Sexual abuse involves an adult or any other older person abusing a child for sexual satisfaction or stimulation. In this case, children are involved in gratifying the sexual desires of the aggressor or providing financial profits to the aggressor. Children are also forced to expose genitals. They are exposed to pornography and sexual intercourse with older persons. When adults sell children sexual services, they commit child abuse.
Today, 15-26% of mature men in the US confess to having been abused during their babyhood (Malcolm, 2012). The leading aggressors in sexual child abuse are friends at 60% followed by relatives at 10%, and strangers at 10% (Girgira et al., 2014; Blair, McFarlane, Nava, Gilroy & Maddoux, 2015). Although emotional abuse is not as prevalent as other forms, it affects a considerable number of children. Emotional child abuse involves inflicting social and/or psychological defects on a child by being rude, arrogant, harsh, or yelling at a child. As a result, children may run away from home, abuse back, or isolate themselves.
Child abuse is associated with various negative implications. These effects may be objective, physiological, or psychosomatic. For instance, physical effects may manifest in the form of contusion or injuries, wrecked bones, soft tissue harm, or even death. In adverse effects, physical child abuse can result in shaken baby disorder, messed up the development of a kid’s brain, awful physical fitness, low telomerase, and illegal activities (Girgira et al., 2014). The negative effects of psychological child abuse result in psychiatric problems as a child matures.
In addition, emotional abuse may result in disorganized attachment style disorder, which is manifested through uncontrolled anxiety or depression. These expositions demonstrate the increased prevalence of child abuse across the world. Hence, this study uses this basis to examine the effects of child abuse before presenting a reflection on the issue.
Currently, four major forms of child abuse are prevalent in the world. These include child abandonment, physical exploitation, sexual violence, and psychological or emotional abuse. The most common form of child abuse in America and in most parts of the world is child abuse (Blair et al., 2015). Child abandonment is also the most familiar form of child abuse in most parts of the world (Blair et al., 2015). Various factors such as poverty, mothers’ education, culture, and peer pressure have promoted abandonment as the major form of child abuse. The former is the most common cause of neglect.
Parents neglect children by failing to provide financial, emotional, and physical support (Jaffee & Maikovich-Fong, 2011). Parents, guardians, and caregivers also neglect children by running away from them. The physical absence of parents or caregivers is also considered negligence. The second most prevalent form of child abuse today is physical abuse. Parents, protectors, or older people inflict physical pain on children. In most cases, physical child abuse happens in the name of instilling discipline in children.
Any excessive physical infliction of pain on the body of a child intentionally is considered child abuse (McCullough & Shaffer, 2014). In this form of child abuse, parents or child keepers may physically beat the child using a tool or bare hands, kicks, blows, knocks, slaps, or pinches. As a result, children may suffer bruises, burns, swellings, cuts, or even death. Cases of children dying because of physical abuse have been reported in the modern world. In fact, a considerable number of teachers have killed children through physical abuse in the name of instilling order.
Brows of death have also been reported where parents kill their children in the process of punishing them (Parton, 2013). Because of the wide prevalence of child abuse, various states in the US and across the world have enacted laws against corporal punishment of children. Sexual violence is another prevalent form of child mistreatment.
Sexual child exploitation involves the deliberate involvement of children in sexual activities by older persons, including involving them in sexual intercourse, touching their sexual organs, and exposing them to pornographic contents at the gratification of the aggressors via some financial milestones. In most cases, the aggressors of childhood sexual abuse are acquaintances, including family friends and people who become friends to the children through their peers, parents, or relatives (Sansen, Iffland & Neuner, 2014).
The second most prevalent aggressors in cases of child sexual abuse today are strangers and relatives. Emotional abuse is also prevalent where parents inflict emotional defects in children. Emotional exploitation is inflicted through criticism and mockery. Excessive emotional child abuse may result in depression, withdrawals, and criminal behavior in the future of the children.
The cost of child abuse is dire to both the children, healthcare organizations, parents, and the government. The impacts of child abuse vary based on the type of child abuse. Children bear the highest percentage of the cost of child abuse. As the victims of various forms of abuse, children experience the effects at first hand.
For example, neglected children may lack basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and education. In addition, they may lack parental warmth and guidance in their lives. In the same way, children who are physically abused suffer bodily pain and harm (Sansen et al., 2014). For example, they may suffer cuts, wounds, bleeding, wrecked body bones, destroyed body organs, or even death. Such sufferings may take a short duration or maybe a lifetime. Children who fall, victim to sexual abuse, also suffer most.
Sexually abused children suffer from distress, sexually transmitted ailments, untimely pregnancies, scorn by peers, and timidity (McCullough & Shaffer, 2014). Cases of destroyed sex organs have been reported because of child sexual abuse. For example, a child’s genitals may be physically injured, their uteruses may be destroyed, and their genitalia may be destroyed in the process of sexual exploitation. Through emotional abuse, children end up suffering the emotional consequence of the abuse.
In the end, psychologically abused children end up suffering from depression or becoming criminals in the future. Institutions such as schools, churches, and hospitals also bear the cost of child abuse (Jaffee & Maikovich-Fong, 2011). Schools suffer when children are abused physically, emotionally, or sexually since their (children) academic performance is highly affected by child abuse.
As a result, children cannot concentrate in class or socialize with others. In some instances, when the aggressor is a teacher, parents may sue the school or soil its name. Other institutions such as churches also suffer the cost of child abuse. For example, the church has entrenched the role of ensuring strong values in families.
Therefore, it is expected to reconcile the children with their parents or guardians. Hospitals also bear the cost of child abuse. For instance, physically, sexually, or emotionally abused children end up in hospitals (Jaffee & Maikovich-Fong, 2011). As a result, doctors, psychiatrists, and hospital administrations are tasked with the role of ensuring that the health of the child is well (Widom, Czaja, Bentley, & Johnson, 2012). The government also bears the cost of child abuse. For instance, governments are expected to enact laws on child abuse in any form.
For example, laws on defilement have been enacted in countries such as the US to help in addressing the issue. Every government has the role of protecting its children from any form of abuse. The government also has the role of arresting the aggressors and prosecuting them for any form of child abuse. Child abuse can be separated into three distinct types, namely physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Physical abuse is any type of physically harmful action an adult parent or guardian commits against a minor child.
This form may include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, beating, burning, shaking, or deliberately making a child physically ill (Berk, 2010). Sexual abuse involves any sexual contact between an adult, regardless of guardianship status, and a minor child. This abuse ranges from sexual touching and exposing their bodies in public to sexual intercourse and commercial exploitation through prostitution or pornography (Berk, 2010). Emotional abuse typically involves an adult ignoring a child’s emotional and psychological needs (Herrenkohl, Hong, Klika, Herrenkohl, & Russo, 2013).
Abandonment can have consequences that are similar to abuse for child development. It is commonly divided into two types. Physical neglect is an adult parent or guardian neglecting a child’s physical needs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and cleanliness (Blair et al., 2015).
Other forms of abandonment include emotional rejection where a parent, guardian, or caregiver partially or completely detaches himself or herself from the emotional needs of a child. Social neglect occurs when parents or caregivers detach themselves from the social needs of the child. Child abuse is considered a serious issue because it has long-term consequences for a child’s physical, mental, social, and cognitive wellbeing. These child exploitation issues form the foundation for this study that seeks to explore the effects of child abuse on children, organizations, and the government.
Problem Statement. Children are responsible for themselves, their parents, social and academic institutions, and the government. Parents and other caregivers take responsibility for caring for their children and explaining the most important living issues to them. Following the close relationship that children have with their caregivers, they learn and trust them as guides in life. However, child abusers who may be parents, relatives, or strangers violate the trust that children have in them (Cronley, Jeong, Davis & Madden, 2015).
Each child should have the opportunity to have a safe upbringing. However, an unknown number of children continue experiencing serious traumas because of abuse and parental neglect (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Child maltreatment and neglect restrict a person’s life. Child abuse has a number of effects on how people behave, develop their abilities, and/or comprehend their duties (Moylan, Herrenkohl, Sousa, Tajima, Herrenkohl, & Russo, 2010). It causes many behavioral problems.
Sousa et al. (2011) reveal how child abuse and other cases of domestic violence considerably influence children and their further development. They become less attached to their caregivers, demonstrate antisocial behavior when they are adolescents, and/or become bad examples to their children or people around them. It is not easy to recover from child abuse and trauma (Lemoncelli, 2012). People need professional help and explanations regarding why child abuse may take place and the effects that may be observed (Sansen et al., 2014).
Research by Sansen et al. (2014) has noted that children, who experience maltreatment if left alone or untreated, can be at a heightened probability of having future issues concerning their behaviors and emotions. The problem of child abuse remains crucial for analysis, as people must understand its effects on human behavior and the urgency in preventing abuse.
Sexual abuse is an area of human behavior which, when discovered, quite understandably often evokes extreme reactions, due in the most part to ignorance, fear, and guilt. It dramatically effects a child’s learning ability in the classroom. Sexual abuse of children is not an occasional deviant act but instead a devastating commonplace fact of everyday life. Our society tends to disbelieve and blame the young victims and underplay the horror of sexual molestation.
Child sexual abuse occurs when a child is exploited for the sexual gratification of an older person. This may be in the form of fondling of genitals or breasts, oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse (penetration can be by genitals, fingers, or by an object), or exposing sexual parts of the body. The abuser may use physical abuse, bribery, threats, tricks, or take advantage of a younger child’s lack of knowledge. When these acts occur within a family the sexual abuse is called incest.
A child victim of sexual abuse, the ability to learn in a classroom environment is brutally affected by their abuser’s actions. Sexual abuse destroys a child’s innocence. It causes the victim to demonstrate poor decision making resulting in unnecessary behavioral issues in the classroom and inhibits the imperative socialization skills needed for positive interaction with fellow classmates and adult influences.
Incest and other forms of sexual abuse of children are subjects clouded by myths, contradictions, and confusions, resulting in a topic easier to be avoided than confronted. There is an apparent disagreement among doctors, therapists, sexologists, and researchers regarding whether as many boys to girls are molested, whether they are equally traumatized, and whether the child victim in some way offers themself for a sexual encounter or whether the molester derives their behavior from a fractured family (Prendergast, 1996, p.33).
Example #17 – interesting ideas
How to begin my essay on child abuse? I need help with the introduction of my essay on child abuse. Please your help is seriously needed.
Answer. “Most parents and other caregivers do not intend to hurt their children, but abuse is defined by the effect on the child, not the motivation of the parents or caregiver.” “Tens of thousands of children each year are traumatized by physical, sexual, and emotional abusers or by caregivers who neglect them, making child abuse as common as it is shocking.”
“Most of us can’t imagine what would make an adult use violence against a child, and the worse the behavior is, the more unimaginable it seems. But the incidence of parents and other caregivers consciously, even willfully, committing acts that harm the very children they’re supposed to be nurturing is a sad fact of human society that cuts across all lines of ethnicity and class. Whether the abuse is rooted in the perpetrator’s mental illness, substance abuse, or inability to cope, the psychological result for each abused child is often the same: deep emotional scars and a feeling of worthlessness.”
The first paragraph should be a small summary of the key points in your essay. You should also reiterate the main premise of the essay in the last sentence of your first paragraph. In my model, the key points were daily statistics on various ways of abuse and examples of abusive environments, the negative impacts of abuse, and statistics on death suicide due to abusive environments,
I think Eric did a really good job of answering this. Not only does that one sentence stay short and sweet, but it also introduces the reader to the main point of the essay (statistics on child abuse). You could then go into the breakdown of the stats you’ve found.. something like:
One out of every ___ children have been, or will be, abused either physically, mentally, or sexually today; that’s the equivalent of “insert fraction or percentage” of our classroom who will suffer in some way. More and more, children are beaten and neglected in their own homes, teased and humiliated at school and online, and sometimes even sexually assaulted in places they once thought of as safe.
Children abused often exhibit extreme social behavior such as introversion and social anxiety, passive aggression, manic depression, and various other mental states that require professional treatment and therapy. Sadly some of these cases end in death or suicide. With one in every ___ kids being deprived today, a closer look into the statistical facts of abuse may be warranted.
That really depends on the circumstances. Such as what kind of abuse it is and how the assailant goes about the abuse. If it is sexual it could go two ways depending. If they are physically forced they are bound to be very frightened and probably aren’t focusing on much more than the pain and probably wondering what they did to cause it.
If they are not physically forced (such as being cohersed or talked into it) they usually have thoughts about how they feel “dirty” or how “it’s their fault”. If it is physical abuse they probably think along the lines of fear. “Why is this happening” “why am I so bad” “How can I escape” things of that nature. Like I said every child is different and every circumstance is different. The child’s age also has a whole lot to do with how they handle the situation emotionally.
A couple of things. First, you’ve addressed the first three bullets but ignored the last one (listing the methods of research). You need to add something about that. Second, on the first three bullets, you don’t need (in my opinion) to parrot the requests quite so literally.
Third, read your paragraph carefully. There are some typos (for example, you say “at such a young age” and I think you mean “at such a young age”). Here’s my rewrite of your paragraph (I didn’t rewrite it from scratch – I tried to take what you wrote and tweak it a little):
The reason I chose to research and write about child abuse is that I want to have a part in trying to end the physical abuse that goes around in the household. Children who are physically abused at a young age have their childhood ruined. We all only have one life to live and no one should have to have a miserable childhood.
The topics I intend to explore in-depth are why parents think physical abuse will not harm their children. My goal is to change their thinking. This topic is of vital importance to the study of the family because no child in any family should ever be physically abused.