Stop Child Abuse.

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What causes child abuse? What types of child abuse are there? What steps can we take to stop child abuse?

Submitted: August 13, 2011

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Submitted: August 13, 2011

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Child Abuse

Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human services, 11,341 victims in Colorado were reported in 2009. There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse. Three of these leave deep scars and wounds inside every child. Neglect, Psychological/emotional and sexual abuse. These types of abuse will never be able to erase even with all the counseling and therapy the world has to offer. This turns life into nightmares and later on it effects socialization or how to build relationships.

Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment. This abuse is not often acknowledged. Neglect is when the guardian fails to provide adequate food, clothing, or hygiene. Does not provide affection or nurture the child. Fails to enroll a child in school or provide medical care. Exposure to second hand smoke, for children with asthma or other lung problems is also a form of neglect; many parents do not realize that. There is also one we are all familiar with, Lack of car safety restraints. Failure to protect is also another form of neglect. For example, leaving your child with an inappropriate caregiver such as someone with a substance abuse problem or a child abuser.  For older children neglect is not intervening when your child is absent 5+ days from school.

Signs of neglect tend to be less visible but detrimental, they are: a child wanders outdoors unsupervised, inappropriately dressed for weather (Wearing shorts and sandals in the winter.), continually dirty clothes, stays late at school or are frequently admitted to the hospital, or they always seem hungry.

Emotional abuse is the hardest to define. It can be name-calling, criticism, humiliation or labeling. These victims have a tendency of blaming themselves for the abuse. Some signs for emotional abuse include: suffering from depression, won’t take part in school activities, aggressive.

Physical abuse can involve punching, striking, kicking, slapping, bruising, or shaking a child. Striking at a child in any way can sometimes lead to leaving a child with scars. Imagine, what memories would come to your mind each time you looked at yourself in the mirror and saw a stab wound from the adult responsible for you? Shaking can cause shaken baby syndrome, this can lead to permanent damage and even death.  If your baby cries, place him in a safe place walk out for a few minutes, take deep breaths and ask someone for help. The line between child discipline and abuse is poorly defined. Signs for physical abuse are: bruises in unusual places, burns, bite marks, suspicious fractures.

Sexually abused by her father and abandoned by her mother, Eve suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.” This is Eve’s story at the age of nine when she entered a residential treatment center. The center explained that Eve was so traumatized that she often heard things that weren't there. When she interacted with other children she would strangely be sexual towards them because this is what she learned from her father. Can you see the psychological damage done to her? One in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused sometime during their childhood. Signs of Sexual abuse are:  an anti-social attitude, refusal to undress or sports, unusual seductive behavior or fear of being hugged.

What causes abuse? Studies show that parents who abuse their spouse are more likely to abuse their child. Substance abuse can also be a reason. According to the Baltimore County police department in Maryland, “One in thirteen kids with a parent on drugs is physically abused regularly. Drug and alcohol abuse in the family makes child abuse about twice as likely.” Unemployment or other financial problems may have something to do worth the abuse. These all add to stress and build up. Making parents take out their stress or anger on children.

Many children that suffered from poor physical health due to abuse suffer from allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure and ulcers. Children often suffer anxiety, panic disorders depression, anger and eating disorders. Studies have found that abused children are more likely to experience problems such a delinquency, teen pregnancy, drug use and mental health problems. According to a National institute of Justice study abused and neglected children were 11 times more likely to be arrested for criminal behavior.

Abusive parents often experienced abuse during their own childhoods. Now their children will eventually victimize their own children. The impact does not end here. In 2001 it was found that maintaining child welfare systems in America costs are at $24 billion per year. This affects EVERYONE! Abuse affects our community so lets help stop abuse for a better tomorrow.

The rise of Child abuse is alarming and raising awareness is critical. Everyone needs to take part in child abuse prevention.  We need to report child abuse and neglect, it’s not necessary to wait till you have proof. Always make your report whenever your worries about the safety of a child turn into suspicions. Remember to always organize Times, names, places, and specific suspicions of abuse before you call. The longer we wait the more likely evidence will disappear.

Children are not able to stand up for themselves because of the fear they have from their abuser. Everyone needs a hand especially an innocent child. Every child deserves a healthy, nurturing childhood and the opportunity to become caring adults. How will they learn what being caring is like when they have no experience of care. Abuse damages children’s developing brains and creates poor outcomes that last their whole lifetime. Not only does child abuse harm children but also it harms our community for quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citations

  1. Our Children's Stories: Eve. http://www.tennysoncenter.org/childstory1. Tennyson Center for Children at Colorado Christian Home. ©2010
  2. Child  Abuse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abuse. Wikipedia. 6 August 2011
  3. Facts about child abuse. http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/agencies/police/community/abuse.html. Baltimore County Police Department. June 1, 2011
  4. Child Maltreatment. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm09/cm09.pdf#page=58. Page 47. Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2010) In Child Maltreatment 2009.


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