Dangers of Child Abuse: Should the Perpetrators Be Punished More Heavily?

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Dangers of Child Abuse: Should the Perpetrators Be Punished More Heavily?

In the United States, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. America’s children are facing a hidden epidemic because the perpetrators are walking free. In many states depending on the severity of the case the punishment is often ten years for serious cases not including time taken off the sentence while in prison or time off for good behavior. These criminals are walking free only to resume their actions with a new vigilance. Statistics say that 90 percent of the time sexual abusers will resume their criminal actions, and that’s only one kind of abuse that children are subject to. There are three main types of abuse. The first and most common is general neglect, the second being physical or sexual abuse, and the third being emotional abuse. Each of these has severe side effects. The first type of abuse, neglect, is the most common but often goes unreported. The reason for this is because it’s so hard to define. The Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36) defines neglects as, “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” Along with being the least reported form of child maltreatment, it is said by some that it has some of the most devastating effects. These effects range from increased likelihood to develop a substance abuse to behavioral and social problems later in life. The second type of abuse is broken into two parts: physical (slapping or striking a child in an aggressive manor,) and sexual abuse. The Children’s Advocacy reports that among the over 145,000 children served 100,649 children report being sexually abused and a lesser 25,381 children reported physical abuse. In one long-term study as many as 80 percent of abuse victims me diagnostic criteria for...
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