Child Abuse

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"Child Abuse"

Child abuse is a very serious and controversial issue that is escalating in today's

society. As we look back to the 1940's and 1950's, it was almost unheard of to let

anyone outside of your immediate family know anything about your personal life. Every

family was thought to be, or shown to the general public to be, the "perfect family".

Some schools had the authority to punish a child by either spanking them with a paddle

or hitting their knuckles with a ruler. Child abuse is one of the leading causes of

childhood deaths in this nation. Statistics show "every 4 seconds a child is abused and

every 7 minutes a child's life is lost" (Neglect 1).

We as a society need to work together to try to think of alternative ways of

disciplining our children. A child is a gift from God and should be treated as such. I do

understand that with the hectic life styles of today's society, sometimes it just seems like

life is a struggle and just too much. Spanking a child as corrective action is one thing, but

beating a child, ripping his or her hair out, locking him or her in a closet, or verbally

abusing a child is unacceptable. One solution we can consider is taking something of

value away from the child, the child may consider this a worse punishment than taking a


In the year 2000, three million referrals came into the Child Protective

Services agencies in the United States to research the chance of child abuse

(Bureau 1). Constantly beating a child can cause immediate memory loss and/or

brain damage. In some cases, severe emotional damages may not surface until a child

reaches adolescence. An adult that has been abused may have difficulty establishing

healthy intimate relationships and may be at a higher risk for depression, substance

abuse, anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares.

We can look at the recent event that is shocking the nation. As I looked at the late

breaking news on the of Madelyne Gorman Toogood who was video taped after

repeatedly slapping, and punching her daughter Martha as she placed her into her car

seat. I felt sick to my stomach. I remember the words as I watched the interview on Mrs.

Toogood. She stated, "Martha was just being Martha, she was pulling the barbies off the

shelves and hiding from me. Martha didn't deserve what she got, I just lost my

temper" (Taped Beating 1). It is a scary thought that someone could bring himself or

herself to beat a child in this manner.

I would encourage you to think about the following question. If the roles were

reversed, would the abuser find it acceptable to be beaten upon? Parents who are

committing these crimes need to think of that tiny, innocent child in the mother's womb,

so innocent and pure.

There are many places a parent can go to get help with parenting issues. The

internet is a good source to research parenting issues. The internet has numerous topics

that may help in learning how do deal with conflict situations and gives advice on

different issues, such as substance abuse, driving, school, allowance, chores, and

working. We need to take action on child abuse issues and help parents find ways of

controlling his or her emotions or tempers. If parents do not learn to control themselves,

the future might not be a place where a child is safe to come into this world.

Another solution I have found which seems to be the best bet so far with pre-teens.

is found on the Kids Contract website. There are 9 simple fill in the blank agreements

you can make with your child about a wide variety of issues. These contracts are in a

simple easy to understand language and give the child, in writing, the consequences

of their actions if they do not follow the guidelines of the agreement (Kids 1).

I am aware that there is a need for discipline in a child's...
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