Child Abuse And The Law Essay

1878 words - 8 pages

Grossman 1Nicole GrossmanMr. LaterzaEnglish 10HMay 17 2014Child Abuse and the LawThe broad topic of 'disciplining' a child has been a controversial issue since the beginning of our era. Through each decade, different forms of discipline have been developed and used towards children. There is a fine line between discipline and abuse, in which many parents unfortunately cross at the expense of their children. Whether intentional or not, abuse affects the mental stability of a child and leaves more than just bruises left behind. There are several different types of child abuse. Physical abuse is when one acts violently toward a child- including punching, kicking, biting, etc. Sexual abuse is any kind of "sexual contact between an adult and anyone younger than eighteen" (Lyness 1). Emotional abuse is when a parent constantly criticizes, threatens, and puts down a child. Finally, neglect occurs when a child is not given the necessities from their caregiver including clothing, food, bathing, housing, medical care, or proper supervision. Many children have died due to the fact that law enforcement officials have failed to recognize abusive situations that children are living in. Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime, hence it is certain that government officials must take it upon themselves to go to the greatest extents in order to protect children and prosecute abusers.Contrary to popular belief, law officials see that child abuse has gradually become a worldwide epidemic through these recent decades. Cruelty towards children was "once viewed as a minor social problem affecting only a handful of U.S children" (Child Abuse World of Health 2). However, it has been proven that abuse can come from all walks of life despite any racial or religious stereotypes. The problem recently has been gaining 'national awareness'. References say that "more than three million victims of alleged abuse are reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) each year" (Child Abuse World of Health 1). This statistic is too high, hence the need for several programs to be established to protect children from such harm. Law officials have failed to recognize that "67 percent of parents of children under age 2 have used physical punishment" (Krugman/Lane 1). This fact alone is enough to expose the ugly truth of abuse to the court and law system and its workers. Take one example in which three years ago, a small four year old girl was abused to death by her mother in Brooklyn, NY. Marchella-Bret Pierce was tied to her little bed and beaten by her mother on several occasions. She was also starved frequently as well. The child protective services workers who were aware of Marchella's situation before her death were fired because they did not notice the neglect that the young child was enduring in the first place. The ongoing court case got much attention through social media however this past week, the child protective services workers agreed to "plead guilty to misdemeanor...

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