Sociological Affects of Child Abuse on Victims:
Victims May Become Abusers
Author: Jenny Bailey
Northeast State Technical Community College
SOCI 1020 I70
Instructor: Mr. Smith
July 31, 2009
Research Discovery Process
I wrote in my journal 2 to 3 days a week, and most all of the entries were the same: me feeling bad for my children because they have fathers that do not help me raise them financially or emotionally, or thinking of the memories I have shared with my children-good and bad, or the worries I have about my children growing up…..until my last journal entry on July 9, 2009, about a young boy named Cody, (whom is a friend of my daughters), that has been a victim of child abuse on and off throughout his entire life, and meeting and learning about this boy is why I decided to write my research paper on child abuse.
At first, when reflecting on my journal I was looking for what I felt most strongly about to write my research paper on. I was researching my life with a sociological perspective. It was a wonderful learning experience of for but after reflecting on the last entry I realized that my children have a wonderful life, even if they do only have one parent to care for them-me- and that they have it so much better than many, many other children who may even have both parents. I realized also that I tend to dwell on the negative and let go of the positive side of things. Writing my journal has taught me to reflect on the good as well as the bad, and that letting go of the bad makes me feel so much better about my life as well as my children’s lives.
Literature Review and Personal Experience or Perspective
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act- CAPTA-defines child abuse and neglect as “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker 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”. (Children's Bureau, 2007). According to the report: ‘Nonfatal Maltreatment of Infants in the United States, (October 2005--September 2006)’, one in fifty infants is abused-and this happens often in the infants first week of life.
Child abuse affects many children each year, and research shows that these victims may become abusers. Marriage and Family Therapist Lisa Dunning states that there are some factors that seem to make it more likely that a person may become abusive. Growing up in an abusive family is one factor. These people have learned how to deal with their frustrations and anger through violence. Many children who are victims of child abuse learn to be aggressive to get what they want from others. Some families are more prone to violence than others because violence is a learned behavior and is transmitted from one generation to another. In these families, abusive behavior is the normal response to tension or conflict because they have not learned any other ways to respond. In such cases, the family members have a way of relating to each other that is generally hostile and non-nurturing. (Dunning, 2009)
Learning Specialist, C.J. Newton, says that children suffering abuse develop a range of sociological problems including: maladaptive, anti-social and self-destructive behaviors and thoughts by trying to cope with the abuse-by trying to understand the situation and why the abuse is happening. (Newton, 2001) It is important to help the child deal with the abuse as well as the psychological problems they report. Counseling in the form of individual and possibly group therapy can take two years or longer. The goal of undoing life-long damage can be very difficult because the damage pervades every aspect of the client, and because there may be physiological changes to the client that can't just be "counseled" away. (Newton, 2001)