In Today's American society, we fail to address several issues needing to be solved. Unfortunately, child abuse is one of the major issues our country is plagued with, yet we neglect to bring this to the attention of the entirety of our nation. It is often over looked due to the fact of everyone having 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 lack thereof by parents or caretakers having caused or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders. This may include parents/caretakers using extreme and/or bizarre forms of punishment, such as confinement in a closet or dark room, or being tied to a chair for long periods of time, or threatening or terrorizing a child. Less severe acts, such as belittling or rejecting treatment, is no less damaging but uses derogatory terms to describe the child, habitually scape-goating or blaming, the child.
Neglect, which is the failure to provide for the child's basic needs, consists of physical, educational, or emotional abuse. Physical neglect includes not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heating or coats), to the child. Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, while allowing excessive truancies to the child. Psychological neglect is the lack of any emotional support and love, while rarely attending to the child. This also includes spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and also allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.
Physical Abuse, the inflicting of physical injury upon the child, may include burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking beating, or in any other intent on harming a child. If the parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, the injury is not an accident. It may however, be the result of over-disciplinary actions or physical punishment inappropriate to the child's ages.
Sexual Abuse is the inappropriate sexual behavior regarding an adult and a child. This includes fondling a child's genitals, making the child fondle the adult's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, and sexual exploitation. For this 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). If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely by the police...