Social Issues / Child Abuse In America

Child Abuse In America

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Autor:  anton  23 November 2010
Tags:  America
Words: 1625   |   Pages: 7
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Child Abuse in America

Child abuse has always been a problem throughout the United States. Over the past few years, child abuse laws have been written and rewritten to help protect our children. Agencies, schools, and churches have become more aware in the detection of children who are being abused, and they are starting to get involved. This behavior is due to lack of parenting skills, and the inability to understand a child’s need. In addition, society should not problematize the issues involved in child abuse, and setup the problem in an entirely different way.

There are several different types of child abuse here in America. Child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect. Physical abuse is when a parent or guardian does something that can cause harm to a child. Sexual abuse is when person uses power over a child, and involves the child in any sexual act. Neglect is when the parent or guardian does not provide basic needs for the child in his or her care. Emotional abuse most often occurs when the child is being ridiculed by the person that is caring for them.

In 2002, 60.5 percent of victims experienced neglect (including medical); 18.6 percent were physically abused; 9.9 percent were sexually abused; and 6.5 were emotionally or psychologically maltreated. In addition, 18.9 percent of victims experienced “other” types of maltreatment as abandonment, threats of harm to the child, and congenital drug addiction (U.S Department of Health and Human Services). Neglect is the number one form of abuse as listed, but that does not make any of the other types of abuse any less important all of the different types of abuse should be handled with the same type of care if not more viciously.

No one ethic group is left out of when it comes to child abuse. Child abuse does not set itself on one ethic group and says that this is the ethic group where the abused children will be. Of all the abused children in America, 54.2 percent were White; 26.1 percent were African-American; and 11 percent were Hispanic. American Indians or Alaska Natives accounted for 1.8 percent of victims, and Asian-Pacific accounted for 0.9 percent of the victims (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

In 2002 alone, people gave reports that at least 4.5 million children throughout the United States were being abused. Of these only, an estimated 1.8 million were even accepted to get an investigation. Of the 1.8 million that were investigated only 896,000 were found to be abused, and only 265,000 were removed from the home (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect). With numbers like these, it is no secret why people in society should step up if the Child Protective Services (CPS) found that close to 900 thousand children was actually being abused why were only one-third of the children removed from the home? If everyone in society would step up there would be less chance of recurrence

of abuse in the home.

No one wants to believe that abuse can lead to fatality, but the truth of the matter is that it can. Child fatalities is all to real when it comes to child abuse today. In 2002, there was an estimated 1,400 deaths due to abuse or neglect. 76 percent of the children that died were younger then 4 years of age; 12 percent of the children were 4 to 7 years of age; 6 percent were 8 to 11 years of age; and the remaining 6 percent were 12 to 17 years of age (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect). As long as society overlooks the fact that abuse is real then the number of fatalities will continue to grow every year if someone does not step in and do something.

Not only does abuse cause death, it can also hinder children so much that he or she can suffer in other ways. It has been found that children who have been abused can suffer from psychological consequences as well as some behavioral consequences. In a long term study, as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused met the diagnostic criteria for at least on psychiatric disorder at the age of 21. These young adults exhibited many problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information). A National Institute of Justice study indicated being abused or neglected as a child increased the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59 percent. Abuse and neglect increased the likelihood of adult criminal behavior by 28 percent and violent crime by 30 percent (National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information).

There are certain signs that society can look at and see if there is possible abuse going on in the child’s home. According to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, these are some signs that may signal the presence of abuse or neglect:

Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance.

Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention.

Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes.

Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen.

Lacks adult supervision.

Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn.

Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home.

If someone should notice any of these signs, it may be important for them, as a person in society, to finally step up and try to help get that child out of that situation and to some help. Any child who displays any of the signs should be society’s first priorities, in trying to help them out.

Although the child shows signs of abuse, the parents as well will display certain actions that may show that they are being abusive at home. According to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, these are going to be the signs that the parent will show if they are possibly abusing their child at home:

Shows little concern for the child.

Denies the existence of-or blames the child for-the child’s problems in school or at home.

Asks teachers or other caretakers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves.

Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome.

Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve.

Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction, or emotional needs.

These are some sure signs that the parent is most likely causing their child some type of harm when there is no one around watching them. As a society, these types of people should receive help as soon as possible so that their children can be freed or liberated from that type of environment.

Society needs to stand up and take notice on which these perpetrators are that are committing the heinous acts of violence against the children of our society. Approximately, 40.3 percent of our children were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 19.1 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 18.0 percent were abused by both mother and father. Victims that were abused by a non-parental perpetrator accounted for 13.0 percent of the total of abused children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). So as society can see it is not always the parental unit that does the abuse in our young children today.

Today there are many different ways that an abused child can seek help, through the school, churches, community centers, and even neighbors. With so many different people in place to help, it is a wonder why society does not know about the abuse until it is to late. It can be the fear that has been instilled into a child, or just the child being embarrassed. When society comes together and chooses not to judge a person for who they are, or what they are going threw we may find it a lot easier to speak with our children and get them help sooner rather then later.

It is important to treat our children after their ordeal with abuse so that they are able to cope with the trials that they have gone threw. To fight off the effects of abuse, age-appropriate treatment services should be given to any child or children that has suffered from abuse, no matter the type they where exposed to. By doing this, society just may save a child from being on the wrong list of statistics, and be able to place that child on the survivor list of abused children, who may someday grow up to help another.

Today there are many programs out to there to help parents who may become a risk to one day harming a child. These programs are designed to help teach parents how to love and nurture their children. If these programs are used by everyone there is a possibility that one day the numbers of abused children may start to decrease and could possibly soon disappear. It is not that much to hope for when it comes to helping save the lives of children, the children who are our future leaders of tomorrow.

References

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2004, March). Child Maltreatment 2002: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Retrieved January 23, 2005 from http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cm02/chapterthree.htm

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. (2004) Child Maltreat 2002: Summary of key Findings. Retrieved January 23, 2005 from http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/canstats.cfm

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. (2004, March). Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect. Retrieved February 5, 2005 from http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.cfm

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. (2004, March). Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect: Signs and Symptoms. Retrieved February 8, 2005 from http://nccanch.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.pdf



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