Every day worldwide thousands of helpless, innocent children are taken advantage of by the ones whom they trusted most. The abuse of children has become just as prevalent as the abuse of women. Here in America in New York City for example “an average of two children dies every week from abuse and neglect” (Stoesz and Karger). The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (Child Welfare Information Gateway)has a positive impact on American society by punishing criminal, protecting children, and promoting awareness. According to CAPTA a child is “someone who has not reached the age of 18 or the age specified by the child protection law of the state in which the child resides”. Children under the age of five are more likely to be abused because they are more vulnerable and easily accessible to sexual predators. Child abuse is the exploitation or harm of a child by a parent, close family member or caretaker.
What are the extenuating circumstances that cause one to abuse feeble, naïve children? There is a variation of reasons as to why one might do so. One particular reason, but certainly not an excuse, is due to unstable mental health which can be genetically inherited.
“Child maltreatment was at one time, broadly defined to include: physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect” (Stoesz and Karger). Today there is a handful more classifications under the term abuse. Four primary types include physical, sexual, neglect and emotional abuse. Physical abuse is violent or hostile behavior resembling bruises from beating, choking, kicking, punching, shaking or other harmful things toward a child. Sexual abuse is activities by a parent or caretaker sexually exploiting a child or incest with one. Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic needs. There are several kinds of neglect. Physical, this is the failure to provide shelter, Medical, the failure to provide necessary treatment, Educational the failure to provide education and Emotional the inattention to a child’s needs. Lastly, emotional abuse “pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth”. Emotional abuse can consist of harsh crisis, rejection, lack of love support or guidance and the opposite of anything else that a child in a normal environment may encounter.
Children who experience these unfortunate happening exhibit minor to extreme cases of self- esteem, anxiety and PTSD problems. Shame is the negative feeling towards one’s self with the desire to hide from others and also a form of self-esteem difficulties. For example, when a child lies to his or her parents and they soon find out the truth, that child feels a sense of shame toward the wrongful act that he or she had done. “Abuse and neglect can influence the part of the brain that regulate emotion” (Schulte). Anxiety is the emotion of constant nervousness and worry. Reference the example above, a child who has lied to their parent would develop anxiety toward idea of their parent soon...