Child abuse is one of the most tragic problems in America today. Each year, over three million American children are beaten, neglected, or sexually abused by their parents or guardians. Infants only a few days old as well as teenagers are subject to child abuse. There are four types of child abuse: physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Child abuse is a serious problem that plagues America's youth and must be stopped.
Physical abuse is one form of child abuse. According to social agencies, beatings of children have multiplied
over the past twenty years. Physical abuse is any abuse that is harmful to the
child. This kind of abuse includes the physical discipline which results in
observable injuries on the child. It also includes use of a life-threatening
weapon, like a gun or a knife, against a child and any abuse resulting in death.
Any abuse which results in a sever injury requiring prompt medical attention,
that could be life threatening, that could cause mental and/or physical
impairment, could cause disfigurement, or chronic pain is too classified as
physical child abuse. Another form of physical abuse is any knowing or willful
mistreatment which in the opinion of a licensed medical doctor causes great
bodily harm and/or results in hospitalization for treatment of this injury or
condition; this may include physical injury sustained as a result of abuse or
conditions which result from a parent's willful failure to act to stop this from
happening to the child.
Physical neglect is defined as failure to provide for a child's physical
survival needs to the extent that there is harm or risk of harm to the child's
health and safety. Physical neglect includes these four things: inadequate
food, inadequate shelter, inadequate medical care, and inadequate supervision.
Forty-two percent of all child abuse reports involve allegations of physical
neglect. The inadequate food element includes a child intentionally or
deliberately not getting fed or given water. It also includes a diagnosis by a
physician of failure to thrive because of a parent's failure to feed the child.
Inadequate shelter includes prolonged and serious illness resulting from
exposure to the elements or to serious dangerous substances as evidenced by
serious injury. Inadequate medical care encompasses the child not receiving
medical treatment for an injury, illness, or disability, and if left
untreated, the condition is life-threatening, or will result in permanent
impairment, or is a serious threat to public health. Inadequate supervision
is dependent upon the child's age, developmental level, willingness to stay
alone, time of day, awareness of what to do in case of an emergency, whether
the child is responsible for watching younger brothers and/or sisters, whether
the child had any physical or mental limitations that would make it difficult
or impossible for the child to care for himself/herself, and/or any...