The Negative Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect

2413 words - 10 pages

Children are beaten until their bodies no longer heal, they are scalded with boiling water, they are starved and so dehydrated that their skin shrivels around their fragile bones, they are sexually assaulted and forced to perform all sorts of perverted acts, and they are locked in closets or tied to bed posts for days on end (Koster and Swisher).

In the year of 2012, more than four children a day were killed due to child abuse, and the number seems to be steadily rising (Child Abuse Statistics & Facts). Child abuse is a horrible crime that harms many of the children in today’s society. One problem with this crime is that it is a silent crime, one that most often happens in the privacy of a family’s home. It is sad fact that, due to the crime being hidden, children in society suffer in silence, and not all perpetrators get caught for their crime. However, people need to be aware of the problem, because child abuse has adverse psychological and social effects.

Though child abuse has adverse psychological and social effects, to understand how these effects come about, one would need to know what child abuse is. Child abuse is an act “carried out by a child’s caretaker or allowed to happen, that results in a range of injuries ranging from death, to serious disabling injury, to emotional distress, to malnutrition and illness” (Gelles 14). All these different forms of injuries are what cause children to have psychological and social problems. Doctors, psychiatrists, and legal system all have different interpretations to what defines child abuse. There are varying forms of the definition, but the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse as, “The physical and mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under age of 18 by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health and welfare is harmed or threatened thereby” (Giardino, Christian, and Giardino 4). This Act is what most state laws use to abide by as the basic definition of what child abuse is. Knowing what child abuse is can help people realize the psychological and social effects of the abuse.

Child abuse is broken up into four different types because child abuse, itself, “is a general term that covers a wide range of acts of commission and omission” (Gelles 14). These acts can be active or passive and they all in some way impair the health and development of the child. Physical abuse occurs when a child is hit, hurt, and scarred with marks not accidentally. Physical abuse is one that seems to happen more often than others. Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome happens to be a form of physical abuse. Munchausen happens when “a caretaker (most often the mother) seeks attention by making their child sick or appear to be sick” (Child Abuse 754). This is a form of physical abuse because the parent or caretaker intentionally hurts the child in...

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