Crimes Against Children

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Crimes Against Children

Child abuse has been a major social concern only since the 1950s but adults have victimized children throughout history. Children are the most vulnerable of all groups which is why child abuse victims are of great concern to society. There are different forms of crimes against children, child abuse, physical or sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

Child abuse is the neglect of or violence against children. From 1998 to 2000, 367,000 children were harmed by their parents. Physical abuse includes intentionally beating, biting, burning, strangling, hitting, kicking or shaking a child. In the 1060s the term “battered child syndrome” was coined. This is a condition where a child suffers serious physical injury usually inflicted by their parents or caregiver. Sexual abuse of children is particularly offensive and is the least commonly reported form of family violence. Unfortunately child sex abusers are family members and friends or neighbors of the victim. In many cases the child has a trusting relationship with the abuser. Emotional abuse is more subtle and involves power or control to harm the victim’s sense of self. Tactics such as verbal threats, social isolation, intimidation, exploitation, terrorizing a child or exposing him to family violence all serve to diminish a child’s self-worth and can cause impaired psychological growth. Child neglect is the chronic and repetitive failure to provide children with food, clothing, shelter, medical care or protection from harm. It constitutes the largest category of child abuse offenders. Fifty-two percent of all child abuse cases in the Unites States involve neglect.

Parental alcoholism, drug problems and other inadequate social and family functions are among the factors affecting the child’s response to victimization. More needs to be learned about the long term consequences of childhood victimization. This article discusses what is known from past studies and also present finding...
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