What is child abuse? It is the physical or emotional abuse of a child by a parent, guardian, or other person. Reports of child abuse, including sexual abuse, beating, and murder, have climbed in the United States and some authorities believe that the number of cases is largely under reported. Child neglect is sometimes included in legal definitions of child abuse to cover instances of malnutrition, desertion, and inadequate care of a child's safety.
Physical child abuse is defined as physical aggression directed at a child by an adult. It can involve kicking, striking, shoving, slapping, burning, bruising, pulling ears or hair, stabbing choking, or shaking a child. Child neglect is when the responsible adult fails to provide adequately for various needs. These may include; physical, mental, educational, and medical. Out of all the possible forms of abuse, emotional abuse is the hardest to define. It could include; name-calling, ridicule and gradating, destruction of personal belongings, torture or abuse of a pet, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding information, and routine labeling and humiliation. Most abused and neglected children never come to the attention of authorities. This is true for neglected
and sexually abused children, who may have no signs of harm. In the case of sexual abuse, intense feelings of shame may prevent children, and adults aware of the abuse the child undergoes, from seeking help. Official government statistics do not indicate actual rates of child abuse. Government statistics are based on cases that were reported to social service agencies, investigated by child protection workers, and had sufficient evidence to determine that a legal definition of “abuse” or “neglect” was met.
We do not often believe a problem is significant, or even real, unless those who say so can provide impressive surrounding statistics. The media often insists on such statistics for their... [continues]
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