Child Abuse and Neglect

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Presented to the Department of Criminal Justice
California State University, Long Beach

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Bachelor of Science

By Kirsten Anderson
California State University, Long Beach
March 9, 2014
Every year around four million children in the United States experience a traumatic event, including the abuse and neglect of a child, also known as child maltreatment, (Schwartz & Perry, 1994). In 2005, 3.3 million referrals were made that year to child protective agencies for suspected child maltreatment, (Bentley & Widom, 2009). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines child maltreatment as “any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child,” (Leeb, Paulozzi, Melanson, Simon, & Arias, 2008). Children, who suffer from child abuse or neglect, suffer from many short and long-term consequences, (Burgess, Regehr, Roberts, 2013). There are four types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, and neglect (Burgess, Regehr, Roberts, 2013). Although any type of maltreatment can be found alone, they often occur in combination together; psychological maltreatment is almost always existent when other types are classified, (Burgess, Regehr, &Roberts, 2013). The effects or consequences of child maltreatment affect every child differently depending on the type of abuse or neglect, (Burgess, Regehr, & Roberts, 2013). According to (Cicchetti, 2004), “mental illness, delinquency, and criminal behavior increase each time a child is mistreated.” The offender that is abusing or neglecting a children is a lot of the time a family member or someone who is around the child a lot of the time, such as a babysitter or teacher; very rarely the offender is a stranger, (Burgess, Regehr, & Roberts, 2013). Child maltreatment can occur in...
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