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What Is Child Abuse And How It Can Affect You?

1755 words - 7 pages

In Today's American society we fail to address several issues that need to be solved. Unfortunately, child abuse is one of the major issues that our country is plagued with, yet we neglect to bring this to the attention of the entire nation. It is often over looked because everyone has a different view of what exactly defines child abuse. To set the record straight there are four basic forms of child abuse: emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.Emotional Abuse (also known as: Verbal abuse, mental abuse, and psychological maltreatment) includes acts or the failures to act by parents or caretakers that have caused or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders in their kids. This can include parents and or caretakers using extreme and or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement in a closet or a dark room or even being tied to a chair for long periods of time. Threatening or terrorizing a child is also another way. Less severe acts, but no less damaging are belittling or rejecting treatment, using derogatory terms to describe the child, regular scape-goating or blaming the child.Neglect, which is the failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, inappropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heating or coats), to the child. Educational neglect can include failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, allowing the child to have excessive truancies. Psychological neglect is the lack of any emotional support and love, never attending to the child, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse including allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.Physical Abuse, is the inflicting of physical injury upon the child. This may include, burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking, beating, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, but the injury is not an accident. It may however, been the result of over-disciplines or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child's age.Sexual Abuse is the inappropriate sexual behavior of an adult to a child. It includes fondling a child's genitals, making the child fondle the adult's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, and sexual exploitation. To be considered child abuse these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a baby-sitter, a parent, or a day care provider) or related to the child. If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely by the police and criminal courts.Children are affected horribly by child abuse. It ruins their lives. Child abuse is on a steady rise in the United States. Between the year 1986 and 1993 the number of reported child abuse incidents had doubled from 1.4 million to 2.8 million. In 1994 over three...

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