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Child Abuse Essay

1879 words - 8 pages

Child AbuseChild abuse is a serious social, political, and emotional problem in the world. This issue has become, in recent years, the focus of numerous quantitative and qualitative studies designed to identify both the causes of this problem and its effects, as well as research designed to develop prevention and intervention efforts to eliminate and reduce the problem. The child abuse prevention center noted that each year in the United States, the abuse and neglect of children results in over twelve hundred preventable deaths and thousands of reported and unreported injuries. In the United States, approximately 2 million abused children are reported.Child abuse according to Dante Cicchetti and Vicki Carlson in their book Child Maltreatment is defined as "causing or permitting any harmful or offensive contact on a child's body; and, any communication or transaction of any kind, which humiliates, shames, or frightens the child". Child abuse has been a very big social issue universally.Child abuse is a common term for three types of child maltreatment sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional or psychological abuse. Children are usually victims of more than one type of abuse. Children can be abused both sexually and emotionally, or they can also be physically abused and neglected. In some unusual cases, a child may suffer from more than two forms of abuse.Child sexual abuse occurs when children experience sexual contact with an adult or an older person through force or deceptive manipulation at an age and stage of development at which the child does not posses sufficient maturity to understand the nature of the acts and therefore are not able to provide informed consent. Physical force is often not necessary because the perpetrator is likely someone with whom the child has a trusting relationship and who is in a position of authority over the child. The type of sexual contact may involve intercourse, touching or fondling the genitals or secondary sex organs with hands, mouth, or objects, or being forced to perform sexual acts with another person. A child might be coerced into disrobing and exposing themselves or watching adults strip off or engage in sexual activity, thus contact may not involve actually touching the child. When sexual abuse has occurred, a child can be severely affected and can develop a variety of distressing feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. No child is psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual stimulation. Even a two or three year old, who cannot know the sexual activity is "wrong," will develop problems resulting from the inability to cope with the over stimulation. The child of five or older who knows and cares for the abuser becomes trapped between affection and loyalty for the person, and the sense that the sexual activities are terribly wrong. If the child tries to break away from the sexual relationship, the abuser may threaten the child with violence or loss of love. When sexual abuse occurs within the...

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