Child Abuse

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In today's society we fail to address a number of issues that need to be solved. Unfortunately, child abuse is one of the major issues that our country is plagued with, yet we neglect to bring this to the attention of the entire nation. Every year millions of children suffer some form of child abuse. It is often overlooked because everyone has a different view of what exactly defines child abuse. More tragically, many people hesitate to report suspected cases of abuse, perhaps because they think the child may be lying, or they have difficulty believing that a respectable neighbor could be a child molester. Child abuse is the intentional infliction of physical, moral, and sexual pain and suffering on a child. Hence, there are four basic forms of child abuse which are neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect accounts for the majority of cases of maltreatment and it can severely impact a child's psychological or physical development. Emotional Abuse, which is 8% of all substantiated cases of child abuse, can be the cruelest and most destructive of all types of the abuses (National Exchange Club Foundation, 1998). Physical Abuse, which is 19% of all substantiated cases of child abuse, is the most visible form of abuse (National Exchange Club Foundation, 1998). Sexual Abuse is the very difficult one for most people to talk about. It's even more difficult for society as a whole to acknowledge that the sexual abuse of children of all ages including infants happen everyday in the United States (Finkelhor, 1988). In most child abuse cases, the offender does not really want to hurt the child. Most abuse happens when adults have a hard time controlling their anger and/or the stresses that their lives bring. However, even if they don't mean to, a parent, family member, friend, or stranger who abuses a child might do it again, especially if other stresses are not handled. The most common form of child abuse children endure is negligence. Neglect

According to Webster's dictionary, neglect is to disregard, to leave unattended especially through carelessness ("Neglect"). Child neglect is often ignored in professional research because the indicators of this form of abuse are usually not clear at first (Lutzker, 1990). Neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Physicians, nurses, daycare personnel, and neighbors are frequently the ones to suspect and report neglect in infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children. Relatives, police officials, and close friends are frequently the ones to suspect neglect in teens and young adults. Once children are in school, school personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Many excuses for parental neglect can be heard, such as "They lost their jobs and have no money," "They are young and didn't know," and "They couldn't find a baby-sitter and had to go to work or would have lost their jobs." As these examples illustrate, neglect is viewed as a less harmful form of child abuse (Dubowitz, 1994) yet, according to McCurdy and Daro, "Neglect is not only the most frequent type of maltreatment; it can be just as lethal as physical abuse". Neglect can also be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect accounts for the majority of cases of maltreatment (CarriFre, Thomson, 1984). According, to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System it estimates that 7.1 of every 1,000 US children experience physical neglect (cite). Physical neglect generally involves the parent or caregiver not providing the child with basic necessities for example, adequate food, clothing, and shelter. Failure or refusal to provide these necessities endangers the child's physical health, well-being, psychological growth, and development. According, to Susan Geltman (L.C.S.W.) physical...
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