According to Finkelhor et al (2005), the increasing rates of child victimization over the last few decades have created a global attention on child abuse. With these increasing rates, most countries all over the world have begun to address this situation. Most countries have enacted laws that classify child victimization cases as criminal offenses punishable according to the provisions of the law (Finkelhor et al, 2005). As noted by Giardino (2010), the increasing prevalence and consequences of child abuse calls for detailed researches and investigations across the world.
This research paper explores the controversial topic on child victims. The paper describes the major types of child abuse, the extent of the problem, intergenerational transmission of violence, theories regarding child abuse, and the special types of child abuse.
Types of Child Abuse
Child abuse as described by Giardino (2010) refers to the aspect of causing or allowing the causation of any offensive contact that can be termed as harmful to the body of a child. Further, Giardino (2010) defines it as the use of offensive communication that may harm the child, shame him, or offend him. In a psychological perspective, child abuse can be termed as an act that omits several procedures in the development of the child (Giardino, 2010).
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act that has been enacted in the U.S. describes child abuse as, “at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm” (Giardino, 2010).
Physical Child Abuse
Physical child abuse is the most common type of child abuse in the whole world. It refers to the intentional infliction of physical harm to a child. In the physical perspectives, it involves punching the child, beating, kicking, burning, shaking and hitting that causes injury to any part of the child’s body (Giardino, 2010). As argued by Giardino (2010), physical child abuse cannot be termed as accidental since the parent or the person taking care of the child is aware that the physical act harms the child. As Giardino (2010) proclaims, the physical activity in most cases may be termed as a form of parental punishment but it’s mostly regarded as inappropriate to the child depending on the age of the child. The presence of bruises and injuries on the child’s body signifies the possibilities of physical child abuse (Giardino, 2010).
Sedlak & Broadhurst (1996) defines child neglect as the occasional failure of the parents, relatives or caretakers to provide for the basic needs of the child. This is a broad form of child victimization that can be viewed in a range of perspectives. According to Sedlak & Broadhurst (1996), physical child neglect involves the failure of the parents or any other person who has the responsibility of taking care of...