The Role Of Media In Reporting Child Abuse

2022 words - 8 pages

The media began to report upon child abuse when society decided that it was no longer a family issue. A study conducted by Fishman in 1978, stated that crimes perceived as “family matters”, such as child abuse and wife beating, were keep private because they were too common to warrant interest from journalists (McDevitt, p. 264, 1996). In fact, public attention to child abuse as a problem within our society “has often been tied to media attention on the subject” (McDevitt, p. 262, 1996).

The media’s role in reporting child abuse is to help deter child abuse perpetrators and to inform the public. The media has the ability to make a negative or positive impact on the preception of child abuse. The publications about child abuse inform the public about different types of child abuse and neglect and incidents that happen within their community, and how to report child abuse. They serve to “sensitize, arouse public opinion on issues, influence policymakers, and call problem agencies to account” (McDevitt, p. 270, 1996).

Understanding Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is prevalent within our society. Some child experts “argue that almost all parents are guilty of emotional maltreatment of child at some time or another” (Crosson-Tower, p. 211, 2010). However, it remains “the most difficult type of abuse or neglect to define or isolate” (Rees, p. 59, 2010). While physical abuse leaves detectable signs like scars and bruises, emotional abuse is hidden deep within a person. It lacks the public profile of sexual or physical abuse (Rees, p. 59, 2010).
Emotional abuse can be understood as the “failure to provide children with an emotional environment conducive to adequate psychological, developmental and physical progress to achieve safe independence” (Rees, p. 60, 2010). Chidlren who suffer from emotional abuse by a parent deal with feelings of being “inadequate, isolated, unwanted, or unloved” (Crosson-Tower, p. 215, 2010). It compromises the “development of relationship-dependent areas of the brain, influences programming of neuroendocrine function, and has lifelong implications for physical and mental health including major causes of mortality” (Rees, p. 59, 2010).
Article One
ABC News published a story entitled Jorge and Carmen Barahona’s Alleged Beating of Daughter Called ‘Subhuman’ (Goldman, 2011). The article was written by Russell Goldman on March 7, 2011. The article summarized the physical and emotional abuse inflicted on ten year old twins adopted by Jorge and Carmen Barahona. These twins are named Victor and Nubia, a male and female. The gruesome and appalling actions by the adoptive parents led to the premature death of Nubia. Jorge removed Nubia one day, from the bathroom, where he held her captive and tied up. He proceeded to punch her to death while she screamed and cried (Goldman, 2011).
Police Officers arrested Jorge when he found him and Victor in a truck near West Palm Beach, FL. Nubia’s remains were found ...

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